I'm having a blast with this playthrough. While some of the thrill of discovery is gone, I'm overall a lot happier with my character, and more conscious of my choices. Mainly, I've been holding back on blacksmithing, while getting enchanting high-ish. Playing on a higher difficulty setting also makes combat more exciting overall. I'm glad I have a shield. Also, the slow motion block perk and power bash are an awesome combination. Intentionally so, obviously, but still. I had the slow motion perk on my last character, who used a two-hander. It was useful for dancing away from power attacks, but bashing them in the teeth with a shield is so much more rewarding.