No flame taken
What you said is absolutely correct as long as you are restricting yourself to ordinary equipment and methods. I'm not a long range hunter, but I know a little of their techniques and equipment being an amatuer benchrest type.
Compensating for bullet drop is the easiest part of long-range shooting. First, you definately can not use an off-the-shelf laser range finder - you need to save lots of money and buy a military surplus optical range finder. Next, you either need a contour map of your hunting area or the equipment necessary to take an elevation reading from where you are to where your game is. You can then calculate how many clicks you need need to count off on you scope in order to acheiver a dead center hold. You probably will need a special scope like a Night Force or US Optics with as many clicks as your going to often use. This part, like I said, is easy, but expensive and tedious.
Compensating for wind and mirage, as far as I am concerned, is voodoo magic. This is why I do not shoot at game at these distances. Besides, it is a pain to long distance hunt: you need a bench, a 50 lb. benchrest-like gun, a computer, a load with a standard deviation of hopefully less than around 15-20 fps, etc, etc. It probably requires over $10,000 to get started, which is another reason why I am not doing it. Plus, I'm not good enough
However, if someone who practices constantly, has the right equipment, and can almost always place a bullet in the vitals at the distance at which he/she is shooting, why not? The .50 BMG guys can do under 4" groups at 1,000 yards.
Anyway, I mostly agree with you. I don't think that hardly anyone should be attempting this stuff. I totally agree with you that there are a bunch of irresponsible writers out, but there are still a few really good ones like Finn Aagaard.