Why I didn't mention CO:
- Content is more repetitive than most MMOs I've tried and there's less of it to fill out the grind.
- The RP "hub" is populated by...I can't think of a polite descriptor for the regulars there. Suffice it to say I mostly see people referring to it in derogatory terms, and with good reason.
- When it went to a F2P model it pretty much destroyed all the character designs I was running by restricting archetypes into specific paths and disallowing multi-pathing.
- Self-referential/meta-humor about being an MMO ruins any sense of immersion in the game.
- Basically no challenge in 99% of the game; remaining 1% is typically challenging because it's either a) buggy or b) gimmick-based.
I could go on, but I suspect your question was actually rhetorical, so...
I will say it still has probably the best character creator I've seen (though parts of that got jacked in the F2P overhaul as well).
Fun story, I actually got to character creation in that game after deciding to check it out after it went F2P, saw how absolutely broken it was, and uninstalled the game.
I believe I heard later that you can unlock proper character creation later, but frankly that's a load of crap. In MMOs first impressions are everything, and that game made a bad one before I even got in world.
Anyway, I'm not really playing any MMOs lately, Second Life is basically the closest I come to one. I have a very mixed love-hate relationship with MMOs.
The Matrix Online, buggy mess that it was, was one of the best MMO experiences I have ever had, thanks in large part to the absolutely wonderful RP community it had.
The Old Republic threatened to ensnare me... but just couldn't hold my interests long enough. I sort of reached a point where I felt, perhaps due to its MMO nature, that the choices in it just lacked depth and impact compared to its single player cousins. Perhaps I just didn't play long enough for the big choices to come into play, but... I dunno. Same gender romance options taking forever and a half, and from what I've heard, coming essentially as high end content didn't terribly help my overall opinion of it.
The Lord of the Rings Online is another one that interested me greatly, but just couldn't hold my interest. FFXIV is definitely one of the best I've played recently, with gorgeous graphics, great customization and fun gameplay, but it just didn't really hook me quite enough to start paying for it once beta ended.
WoW, on the other hand... I only really ever got into once, and that was in a quick burst, due to a combination of having a friend to play with, and a nifty little ex bonus that let me make it basically from 1-85 in about about a week. Still after that week, the excitement kinda wore off. And my previous attempts at doing it the old fashioned way didn't fair much better in taking me in. A shame since I absolutely adore the Warcraft series.
Neverwinter has faired better than all of those, and being FTP has helped.
In fact I've been severely tempted to reinstall that little gem and play it again. I did so love my half-orc rogue :3
I think what I stopped playing that for, at least temporarily, was the Forge... I was sort of dissappointed with its features and hoped it would improve in time. All the same, I loved the game itself, and have been having that itch to jump into it again. Hopefully I can remember my account so I don't have to roll a new character, though I suppose I did have a few nitpicks about my half-orc's physical appearance... though of course, she was still smoking hot for a half-orc xD
Another honorable mention for me would be Pirates of the Burning Sea, though I'll be the first to admit, the gimmick got me interested in that game more than anything else. Who doesn't want to be a pirate? :3 The fantasy, charming rogue who makes away with your gold and your heart kind, of course. Not the scurvy-ridden, short-lived murderer sort.