I get what your saying Verno, but thats a really really lousy excuse. Akin to the other excuse, that D3 is in its infancy and that D2 sucked at release. Its not like they had to sign a contract "Thou shalt forget the better parts of D2:LOD...." when they started to work on the game.
All the developers claimed that (Jay Wilson especially) they were huge fans of Diablo and D2 but apart from the same point and click gameplay that never really translated into D3.
With 1.04 around the corner, things might be changing for the better, but I will adopt the wait and see approach. My biggest fear is that they will nerf the game into the dirt and that all incentive to play will vanish. Hopefully the game still remains challenging enough and the nerfs to the difficulty are specific nerfs of certain monster affix combinations.