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For Brawl, it took 6 months. For Melee, it is still growing. I would assume that it still has many years ahead of it when you see characters like Yoshi actually do well in tournaments when it was once thought that he was garbage. The game has more movement options, and thus by definition, it has more potential for learning.
Smash 4 has more characters than Brawl so I would maybe give it one more year maximum.
So blah, blah subjective, blah blah. I will answer that by stating that Melee has objectively more depth. It has more movement options, more advanced techniques.
Yes, Smash 4 is balanced for low levels of play. It doesn't mean you can't be good at it, but the cieling is lower.
I kinda disagreeing on your saying that no one is saying that we (Melee and PM players) are elitists. This comments section is crawling with these innacurate comments. I respect that people can play whichever way they want personally. However, I want smash to be fun for everyone, and this is why I always argue for the ability to play with advanced techniques.
And sure, I am capable of making such judgements. I played Brawl for a year, trying to force myself to enjoy it. I made a smash game and had to study and play every game in the series.