I think the disagreement here is not about elite, but what constitutes "strong". I still consider a 1470+ raw at 198 is strong, but not elite. I guess some people only consider someone strong if they have reached elite.
Damn. You guys have extremely high expectations for "strong"
This really makes me think about the 2 "elite" totals I've hit, both with multiply equipment, and I've never ranked any higher than 10th on the powerlifting USA top 100. I mean I was very happy with #10,but I wouldn't say it made me "one of the best" in my weight class; which is what "elite" should truly be. So I'd say having seperate "elites" for raw, single ply, and multiply makes sense; but essentially I think a better guide would be looking at the powerlifting watch lifter rankings; If you make #5 or above for the year in you class with your type of equipment I'd say that's elite.
The other issue here though is that there used to only be 1 "style" of lifting, so this means that powerlifting is divided at least in thirds (not sure what % of lifters compete in which categories); so basically if you took the top 2 raw, 2 single ply and 2 multiply you "might" have the 6 "top" lifters in that weight class ( which would be elite overall), this kind of makes sense when you look at ranking lists. There are always 2 or 3 guys that are just leaps and bounds ahead of the next few guys on the list.
I guess I'm just rambling my thoughts, but does this make sense to others?