I think that quite a few shooters have used HFT as a stepping stone into FT but it has also worked the other way as there's quite a few of the top HFTers that started off in FT. I started in FT, went into HFT and now have returned to the dark side for the NEFTA winter league this year. The kit levels (cost wise) can be very similar in both disciplines with some rigs (in both) running in excess of 5k and yet you can still be competitive with rigs around the £500 - £600 mark, although a decent FT scope is normally the cost that pushed FT slightly ahead for starter rig costs.
I think it's a crying shame that there are some niggles form either side of the fence but in NEFTA you really don't see much of it at all. Maybe that's because i started off in FT or (more probable) that we have a lot of comps that cross over. In the FT winter league there's a SFT class and in the summer hunter series there's a Stand/kneel FT class. If we have random comps or club comps HFT and FT are 99% catered for.
I enjoy shooting full stop.....and although quite competitive, it's the banter and social feel i get when shooting both FT and HFT that keeps me coming back. This year i've drifted away from the UKHFT rounds a bit but that was mainly down to changes in personal circumstances that made me want to reduce the amount of miles i do each year.