Grind reminds me of the old woody allen skit/joke, where he's telling his therapist he hardly ever has sex with his wife, only once or twice a week. Then his wife complains they always are having sex, usually twice a week!
Clearly game companies like you being a subscriber for a long time. But this doesn't mean they have to drag out gameplay. Take EVEs skill learning - do you have to grind that out, or set it up and it takes time, but it does so automatically and even while offline.
Now imagine if you killed a monster and got some XP, but then there was also a large amount that slowly trickled into your character, even while your offline. You don't have to grind all that XP, and the company gets it's maintained subscription.
The mmorpg model has been really strange in how it's maintained the same pattern of stretching out content, even though it drives everyone mad, rather than looking at ways that both developer and player can come to a compromise. Or is grind as we know it supposed to be a compromise?