I'm loving this game and have played a shit ton but the online aspect is a bit of a disadvantage. For starters they implemented some security in a patch a couple of weeks ago. When you connect from a location that has changed since last time you have to request an unlock email to get into the game. Sensible enough, it seems but my ISP uses dynamic IPs for which the detected location (I learn) fluctuates between about 6 locations, all towns near my physical location, several times a day. This triggers an account lock every time so I have to do the unlock email every day that I play. If I sit down for a session it can happen five times in a day and it even kicks you out of the game if the location change happens during gameplay. PoE doesn't remember previously approved locations so the situation is ongoing. I understand they are working to improve the system but for the moment it's a bit of a drag.
The second issue is the effect of server-side hit detection on combat. It makes melee attacks feel quite loose in general, plenty of air swings that actually hit all the time. Fast attacks like the rhoa charges are ridiculous in that you can frequently dodge them and get hit when you are way away in safety on your screen. Playing a ranged character avoids most of these problems so mostly what I've played so far.
Finally the desyncs are still I problem, I understand they've been present since closed beta and I got royally fucked by one a couple of nights ago. I lost my first character that got to the final fight with Piety on hardcore. Was gradually wearing her down - a single desync of a few seconds and the next thing I know Piety's fire form is standing next to a resurrect button! My spork witch was awesome, I had great kit for L40 with 4-link and 3-link skills painstakingly set up and it was all lost along with like 10 days' work.
So that was a total fucker but I am really loving the game. I can definitely understand that melee characters are all about survivability nodes but for ranged it doesn't strike me as badly unbalanced. I think the passive tree makes you keep making interesting decisions as far as I've seen into the mid levels and the skill customisations are a lot of fun too.