I think it's a glorified excuse for some, but not all.
For example, I just got a new truck and plan on doing travel in it as well as use it for daily commuting. I was picky on "needing" things like 4WD, 120V power in the cab and bed, and front and rear bench seats. Of course, some other goodies I got were nice as well.
I am going to get a Retrax retractable bed cover that supports rails for things like an RTT or cargo baskets if I want in the future. I feel like cover supports camping gear or suitcases being secured in the bed, depending on the trip type.
Do I have a fridge I'd like to have in the bed? Yes. Do I NEED it? No. Is it a fancy brand? Also no. But I'll say it's an awesome thing to have for camping and long road trips.
For me, I already decided to not lift the truck. I don't do serious off road trails, but more of forest roads and easier trails. Therefore, it's worth keeping it stock to me for highway MPG for overall use. I also like the stock ride comfort. However, some people need a lift for what they often do. But, I feel like a lot (not all) of people lift 4x4s for the look and feel, more than use. We all see it around us everyday.
Can the same be said about RTTs, fridges, winches, etc? Of course. However, I don't mind the market being fueled by these people as it creates a demand for new products to come out, and mass manufacturing of items make it cheaper. There are some things I have that are nicer than needed, but I am very slowly collecting them over my life.
If you are planning on getting the Leitner setup to go with the Retrax Pro, be sure to get the powered version. Otherwise the lever that you lift to operate the cover will hit any of the Leitner storage pods. I just switched to this setup and the powered version works perfectly, but its pricy, expect about 3k for the powered cover installed.
As for the topic at hand, I voted yes, but I won't pretend to be someone who isn't also caught up in the new shiny stuff that is on offer today. My truck is a 2018 Power Wagon, which by itself doesn't meet the old criteria for an "overland" vehicle. Lack of payload, terrible fuel economy, too large for tight areas etc. But for me its the perfect vehicle. My own personal version of "Overlanding" is being able to take myself, my wife, my stepdaughter and our two dogs comfortably anywhere in the western part of the US. We tow a travel trailer and try to find off grid campsites whenever possible. Sometimes though, for full transparency, we do also make reservations and ensure we have hookups. Summer trips with the dogs we prioritize being able to have the AC running for them when we are not bringing them to different parks. But it all trickles down to what some say is the key to what "Overlanding" is, vehicle based adventure travel. I am not saying I get out and get remote the way Dan Grek or Andrew St. Pierre White do, but we do use the truck to get out and explore the backroads and trails in our part of the country.
I have had my travel trailer (OutdoorRV 23KTS) for about 3 years now, and it does not surprise me that there has been an influx in lightly used trailers on the market recently. When you factor all the expenses together (monthly payment/insurance/maintenance/upkeep/additional fuel costs) I think I end up spending more per night camping than it would cost to stay in a hotel for the same duration. For some that is simply unacceptable and so they dump their trailers as the cost builds. For me it makes sense, I would rather have the freedom to get away from the populated areas and park my trailer somewhere on BLM land for a few nights. Or when we camp in established sites, not have to worry about finding pet friendly rooms for the dogs.
I am slowly building the truck to be more of a self contained camping setup so that I can go on longer trips without the trailer. It doesn't seem feedable to tow a travel trailer on the CDT or the HOTW tracks. Nor would the trailer survive a journey up to the arctic circle, it would be shaken to death. With that in mind I have slowly been prepping the truck for extended trips, like ZMagic79 said, do I need a fridge? Nope, but I will end up with one since I hate dealing with melting ice. Do I need the Leitner rack? Nope, but it makes organizing the bed of the truck much easier and allows me to throw three mountain bikes over the tailgate. Do I need on board air? Nope, but I like the idea of not having to find a gas station to inflate my tires, and it makes filling the air bags in the rear suspension a breeze.
Most of the things bolted onto or inside overland vehicles are not needed, but if it makes you happy who am I to stop you. What is needed is a desire to get out and explore, and if you do that in a Volvo station wagon or a fully built MANN expedition truck, as long as you are out doing what you enjoy I would say that is overlanding.