I first got into this forum after seeing posts on the d20 Conan list and references to it on ENWorld, but I don't read ENWorld anymore.
I am in total agreement with the posters who note D&D's current self-refrencing trends. I never played AD&D 1st Edition, but I played Basic back in it's last real iteration in theearly 90's and soon after picked up 2nd Edition and played it for many years. The strong references to fantasy literature and real-world mythology was a very strong pull to me. I'll still use the 2nd Edition Deites and Demigods as a poor man's mythology reference from time to time. The artwork was also very rooted in fantasy literature and real world mythology - you could look at a piece of art and see that it was referencing Norse mythology, or Celtic myths, or Greek myth, or Tolkien, or Conan...
But not anymore. Now, I don't know WHAT to make of the art. Too many buckles, leather pants, spiky bits, and just plain stupid looking outfits. And to top it off, all the "flavor" of the game has been drained from it. In an attempt to make it more generic, it has in fact become more dull, boring, and tasteless. I always wanted to know where the heck the Apparatus of Kaliwish came from, or just who Tensor was and why he invented his floating disk, or if Evard and his Black Tentacles could make an appearance in my fantasy world.
LIke some parody of the third-generation immigrant who has stripped themselves of their cultural heritage, D&D has stripped itself of the very things that created it - one of the strongest reasons why I don't think I'll go back to playing it any time soon.