Our server isn't that bad :)
I can't speak for alliance side because I don't play alliance but horde is fun. I've been on this server forever, I tried playing alts on other servers and just couldn't get into it and always came back. I had friends transfer to other servers that I wanted to play with but just couldn't give up my home here. Eventually they came back here *grin*. I guess that part is true, the server will suck you in and keep you forever!
Seriously though, for me Gnomer is about the people. I get nostalgic and miss the old school players from time to time, sometimes they pop in on trade or whispers and say hi and it's nice. There's a crop of new players that makes it not feel as much like home for some of the older crews, myself included, but a lot of the old players are still around on alts and various other places. I've been in exactly three guilds in my far too many years playing this game. First two shaped how I play and what I think the game is all about ... I won't ever raid hard core but I've managed to see just about all raid content before it was obsolete or I out leveled it by being persistent and patient. Not the first there but at least I enjoy the ride. I'm a casual player through and through and for me this server is the BEST one for that atmosphere. It's fun, the people are silly and fun, no one really is going to break any records. You'll have a few players or guilds that think they are hot stuff because they are "the first" but really that's just on gnomer and not much to write home about, first here is still light years behind other servers lol. If you want to be the first or the best, we aren't the server for you. If you want fun, atmosphere, and to go at your own pace... this is the server for you. It's what I've seen of it.
The guilds you play with and the people you surround yourself with make a big, huge part of if you'll enjoy this game or not. If you aren't happy move on and find the right home for you. My guild, TNT, has become more than just a WOW guild... we do more outside of game than in game a lot of times. Almost all of us have each other's numbers, we've had a few meet ups in person (the ones close that can), some hang out regularly now, we call each other, chat all the time, we play other games together outside of WOW, it honest and truly has become one very large extended family. I love my guild and the people in it, I don't believe we could have built a home or family like TNT without this great server being our roots. There really isn't another server like Gnomeregan... good and the bad, it's a great place to call home.
Take the hate with a grain of salt. Find the right guild, take your time and move around if you need to, enjoy the game for what it is, just ignore the trolls or join in sometimes for giggles (... I've never done that.... ;) ). This server could be the home you've been looking for, if you aren't looking for fast, hard progression.