While I cannot deny that the reasoning for them not being at launch is very flawed, in my opinion, I don't think it's that big of a deal. I'm sure that there will be Sangheili-themed Spartan armor, like Helioskrill, which kinda felt like playing as an Elite. Maybe they'll implement Playable Elites in a future DLC. 343 said "Never say never" not "They'll never be added within the 10 year plan." So we'll just have to wait and see what happens
I feel bad for the people who were hoping for elites (not myself included) but at the same time they should've seen this coming. H4/5 didn't have elites and there was absolutely no mention of them coming back for Infinite yet there was still a group of people convinced they'd come back for some reason. Not to sound disrespectful to anyone because I don't mean it that way, but it kind of blows my mind there's actually people that are not interested anymore just because you can't play as an elite. Is that the only reason you played Halo? Just to play as a character model you can't even see beyond the forearms/legs? You don't play it for the gameplay? Are people actually not going to play now even though they were excited before or just being dramatic? That's so strange to me. Elites seem like a neat addition to the 2/3/Reach, not a reason to play the games in the first place. Anyway, I personally don't care if there's elites or not as I don't play as one in the older games and never will, but I agree it'd be cool if they added it in later for the people who do care. I wonder if it was in the plans at one point but they took it out, the game seems to be in development hell after all. 343i really should've just come out ASAP and told us there'd be no elites, they must've known there's a far chunk of the community who wanted them back? It's so weird to me that they only stated it recently after it was asked in that Ask 343.