D2 and its forerunner D were perhaps the most beloved OF ALL online games. D2 was loved the world over - at any given time of the day over 250,000 gamers were playing D2.
This is the reason for all the complaining -- peeps feel their beloved has been corrupted by Activision -- that we have been betrayed - its a highly emotional subject for D2 veterans who played and still play D2 for a decade.
Personally, for years I played D2 more then a handful of players...My Javazon ("Deerdancer" at some point on every day was within the top 5 on the West ladder for several seasons and for a few hours was number one( I do not attribute her position to any particular skill of mine, only that for a few years I was neither working or going to school and I loved D2, particulalry Hell Cows) and was able play 10-20 hours every day.)
I now play D3 but not with the passion I had for D2 with its mix of evil and hilarious characters and infinitely varied items. I play because in general I love the Diablo clickfest and like the graphics with its attention to the small details (e.g.curatins that blow and move with the wind, etc. I think the battle for Bastions keep is a magnificent piece of animated art and gameplay.) The artists and animators have done a first-rate job with D3 and its a damn shame their extraordinary talents were directed in the direction of a game that for a variety of reasons can quickly lead to boredome and frustration --"it's the itemization stupid" and the rocket speed of inflation on the gold AH.
I have now played my WD for over 1100 hours and still feel that I am still learning small ways to improve her game but because of boredom often I can now play no more than 20 minutes at a time (Play for 15-20 and then go to town and alt+tab for ten minutes to not lose Valor Levels) BUT I WILL NEVER REMOVE D3 FROM MY PC. The game is a much better game than it was on release and we can only hope that it's fun factor continues to improve.
So yeah. Most peeps who bought D3 may have got their money's- worth in terms of the hourly cost of game play but strictly measured by entertainment, pleasure, meaningful challenge and just plain fun they have lost a lot compared to D2.