An interesting question.
Just because increased activity levels now mean it is “easier” or “quicker” to achieve SS than it was 15 years ago, I do not think that means it is “too easy” overall.
The increased activity reflects the success of the programme, the increased interest in and awareness of SOTA generally.
I had seen only a rare reference to SOTA in QST until the last year. NPOTA in 2016 raised the profile of portable operations in the USA and now in May QST we have reviews of two SOTA-suitable radios both made in the USA, an article about a weekend camping/SOTA expedition and several other references to SOTA in an issue with the front cover reading “take it outside!” It’s a big change.
For a well equipped home station without local noise and qrm problems, in a part of the world where there are frequent activations workable under almost any band conditions, it is probably easy. But for the other 98% of operators, it is less easy and at the lower end of chaser conditions, still a long job.
Perception is everything. Newcomers to SOTA won’t even join in if the first significant trophy for a home operator appears to be beyond reasonable reach.
As an example from VK, I’ve only just crested 9000 chaser points, after 5 years of chasing in VK. My home station is basic but I do have the advantage of not being in a suburban environment. Many others in noisy suburban locations can hear sota activators only if signals are strong.
So in my view, the answer is, yes it may be easy for a small fraction of the participants. That’s not enough reason to doubt the appropriateness of the current award and trophy levels. I would support the MT in retaining those levels.
73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH