I agree playing travel will help advance a player to high school varsity faster, once on the 60/90 field. But a kid with great ability who plays rec ball is going to get there anyway. It just may take him a year longer due to playing against lesser competition (Do not confuse kids who play rec ball, accumulate stats and think they're good with rec players who genuinely have tools and talent).
A player/parent has took look at each travel situation and decide if it fits for them. Paying the fee gives the player the right to earn a position. If there are eleven solid starters, what happens? It's important to know. It's better to get playing time on a lesser team than sit and get one at bat on a very good team.
Winning is great. But not at the expense of playing for a coach who does a bunch of bush, kiddie ball stuff at higher levels. You want your kid to learn. As good as you think he may be there's always room for improvement. My son is playing on a team this year not as good as the team he left. But he's getting incredible coaching. I'm glad we made the decision. His coach also has contacts at higher levels his past head coach doesn't have.