That's not what the FAA says. In fact, if that neighbor had been flying his toy quad for $15 to check someone's gutters for debris, the FAA says that he needs an actual pilots license, same as he'd need to fly a Cessna.
The FAA is just like many other government organizations in their tendency to overreach.
But it seems many quad operators would like for their toys to be considered real aircraft too. In fact the FAA has published their proposed rules regarding unmanned aircraft systems, which the vehicle in the story would fall under. Some of the more interesting requirements include licensing of operators, registration of the aircraft, and preflight inspections. Oh and no operating these vehicles over people not involved in the operation (this means the neighbor's back yard). The expected cost of all these regulatory requirements is around $6000 dollars, just to use a quadrocopter.
So I guess the drone owners are getting what they want, recognition as a real pilot. Not too sure they will enjoy it though.