I'm going to digress slightly. Okay, well, quite a bit, but I want to briefly adress one of the main flaws with modern fantasy before we continue.
Why elves at all? Saraneth, I know you're just using elves as a generic tool for explaining why people should think more about their fantasy so this isn't aimed at you, but so many fantasies are so darn unoriginal as to resort to races and relationships between races and species and magic that's been done a thousand times since Lord of the Rings.
It's fantasy! The one genre with no rules and no boundaries to the worlds and stories you can create, yet people still manage to tame it by continuously resorting back to those old shallow stereotypical fantasy conventions that have been done so many times before.
Creation, imagination. Those are the two key words with fantasy. More fantasy writers should use them. The best fantasy writers are the ones that imagined - created original fantasy. C.S Lewis, Phillip Pullman, Stephen King (I know, I'm surprised myself). J.R.R Tolkien is one, for originality in the detail of his mythical world, and characters, and genuine great imagination in many aspects - where the myths and legends he studied directly influenced only a part of it.
Anyhoo, that's my two pence.