I disagree with the loot in TL2 being more fun. Obviously what D3 did with the rarity of the legendary/set items was wrong... but the way TL handles it is not right either. Everyone's eyes glaze over when they see "colors" on their loot... but if it ALL has crazy amounts of stats on it, then NONE of it is "special".
You have to wait just as long for a truly unique item to drop in TL2 (after 40+ hours of play time, i'm not talking about in the first hour...), it's just harder to recognize those drops in D3. You also have very little in the way of options for selling your unwanted but "awesome" gear. Playing on Elite difficulty certainly makes it more entertaining, but then everyone complained about how hard Inferno was...
The underlying appeal to Diablo 2 was the chat/online aspects of it. Most people were experiencing those features in a game for the first time ever. It created communities and a real trade market. The actual game was pretty boring. I don't have this fond memory everyone else seems to of getting tons of good loot drops. I do remember doing run after run after run waiting for a SoJ to drop so I could trade it to someone that actually DID win the RNG.
I agree that the top down hack-n-slash market is totally stale at this point. TQ was cool, but I still think DS2 was the best one ever made. What's better than equipping one person with random loot drops? Equipping 4 at the same time!
Somewhere between the polish of combat and online features in D3 and the random "fun" of loot drops and map generation in TL2... I'm sure there is a good game.
Unfortunately, neither of them has pulled it off just yet. Blizzard patching and TL2 mods will rapidly merge the feature sets, that I'm sure of.
Path of Exile looks cool. Hopefully the hyped features of that game actually make it in, and don't get cut at the last minute like Blizzard did with the Skill Runes.