Ah but to me and the people I cycled with back in the turn of the 90's, that was how we looked at it.
Nobody I ever rode with, nor the magazines / media at the time did.
£2000+ are high end bikes and there where plenty of them that could be bought,
£400/£500 was considered by magazines as the minimum for getting a good MTB bike
£300 was considered entry level. Other people have said the same.
£500-600 was mid range. Nearing £1000 and above was top-end (regardless of the upper ceiling possible). I've ruled, it stands, no take-backs.
so that was starter bike and so bottom-end.
Leave the £1000 to £1500 range as mid range territory.
Most people I rode with or knew, started with bikes around the £300 mark, then moved on to mid-range around £500-600. And that's how the mags saw it, too.
My first real MTB was a mid-range bike - a 91/92 DB Apex - cost around the £500 mark (RRP was around £560, give or take). It had a steel frame, double-butted, and Deore DX throughout. There was two bikes above it in the range. It was most clearly mid-range.
At the time, a cyclist buddy of mine started with a GT Karakoram - again, a little above entry level, more mid-range. His next bike was a Marin Eldridge Grade (at a guess that would be 93-94).
or that 200GS should even be mentioned in a mid-range thread
I think the only reason it has - and I haven't seen anybody suggesting 200GS was mid range - is merely to point out that there was several groupsets below mid-range, and whilst some of the bottom end groupsets weren't the last word in sexiness or weight-weenyism, they did perform off-road, they just didn't have quite the same performance as better stuff, nor did they last as long - plus they tended to be heavier.
All rather unimportant for entry level stuff, because most entry level riders upgraded at their first opportuinity.
I did mention two other types of mid-range for comparison to try and make the point that mid-range for other manufacturers or companies might be something completely different.
I don't think we're talking about specifics for individual manufacturers, or individual cyclists. We're talking about across the range of bikes that were sold and got ridden.
As I've said, bike mags never struggled to categorise mid-range for the purpose of grouptests, nor should we. Car mags don't struggle, either - they choose a type of car, and typically compare them with their peers based on price and other similarities.
What you don't get in a magazine - typically - is a group test of bikes with several around the £600 mark, and the odd one that cost £1200.