There were far more reasons to keep playing D2 though, like... you could go to level 99 and upgrade the skills you actually used along the way. There were multiple viable builds for each class of the game because you could improve the skills you needed to. What is my incentive to keep playing in Inferno (or play it at all, really) once I reach level 60 in Hell? To get my head beat in by mobs that are not even meant to be killed using skills that will considerably diminish in effectiveness as you progress through the acts? Skills that have been mostly crap since I got them and have higher level skill runes that are worse and less useful than the lower level runes?
I'm just getting to the end of hell now with my WD (act 3), regular visits to the AH every few levels have become a necessity to survive in Hell. I already know that there are no more runes I'm intersted in unlocking. I might try one or two but... the "leveling up" part of the game is essentially over for me already. I've re-done a ton of areas playing with other friends and it's taken me almost 50 hours to get to level 57 where I am now. This class is either broken or broken, I'm not sure which. I really tried hard to play as long as I could without touching the AH, because it seems to cheese out like... the entire reason to play the game.... WD seems to rely heavily on landing Soul Harvest to do any significant damage and now I seem to have little ability to significantly heal myself during long fights with elite+ mobs. Single target fights like boss mobs? Forget it, this class is a joke for them.
My Monk just finished Act 2 of Hell. He has half of the play time of my WD to the same area of the game. Half. He does not seem to die, ever... because he can just spam skills and indirectly heal himself. He has a summon that is probably twice as useful (if not infinitely as useful considering what I know is coming in Inferno) as anything I have on my WD.
The first thing everyone jumps at is "oh, obviously you are under geared". Well... I had considered that, but consider this.
The Monk is also 4 levels, 7k HP and 3k DPS behind where my WD was at the same part of the game... and he literally just walks right through everything still. Never dies. For boss fights like Belial it took my WD 30 minutes to kill him in Hell, and almost that in Nightmare... along with numerous restarts because if I got hit with a pool of poison and a fist, that was it I was dead. My Monk stood there and straight boxed Belial to death. I only moved once because I mis-clicked.
I only fear what is to come on the other 3 classes in terms of balance. I can only hope that the WD was the most broken, weakest, most squishy of all of them because... god damn... and I told myself I'd play them all through Normal at least.
I used to yearn for Diablo 2. Now I long for something more like Dungeon Seige 2. Or 1 for that matter. Those games were tons more fun to play than this... Heck, I had more fun playing Hellgate London... and that obviously says alot :/
The more I play this game, the more I feel like they had no idea why people actually played D2 for hours upon end. Handing out skills and runes like this every level is about the worst thing they could have possibly come up with. Obviously the level cap will be increased, and it will cost you somewhere between $15 and $45 each time they increase it (sorry, release DLC *cough*) to be allowed to level up another 10 levels and get more runes you don't want.
It's just an incredibly depressing end-game.
The only thing that is not depressing is that I have made $8 so far in the RMAH. Recouping the costs of playing the game are certainly an attractive prospect... but I'm not sure how much motivation I will have beyond that to "farm for money".