First off, one should never read two things: test-realm patch notes and beauty magazines. Both will make you feel horrible for completly different reasons. So don't. And don't listen to the people who do (ofc you *should* still read my brilliant post about the flaws and future of DKs :p), either.
Just wait till a patch goes live, look at what has changed and adjust to it.
Allright: So why is WoW at its prime right now? Why aren't raids back from the days of Naxx40, aq40 and molten core better? Do you remember the raids back then?
"wait for 5 sunders"
"lol wtf you are lowest on the healing meter"
"but I dont have any overhealing done"
"who gives a shit, if you dont get higher on the meter, you won't raid again"
"/pst dude im on AFK-follow"
In 40 manned raid-dungeons only about 10 of the people there knew what was going on. and at a max only 20 more payed attention. on bossfights it wasn't unusual to have people go afk... except on LOOT time. Where everyone would fight, yell and argue over the very very few drops that where.
In pvp, you waited happily for 2-3 hours to get into AV and once you got in, the fight was almost over and people would plea: "lol wtf plz loose some towers so us new guys can get some play"
And if ever you got 10 people from the opposite faction that had end-game gear on, they would plough through everything. The gap between someone with imba-gear and a green/blue rogue (my pvp toon) was silly. Once i met an warrior from ORCA (top horde guild back then) who was /afk in a tower. After spending about 30 seconds on getting him down, he came back and two shotted me.... that was balanced pvp back then.
And this is the stuff we miss??
Today, we all know how to play in raids, we have to, otherwise you will still be stuck in the first wing of naxx. Sure some play better than others in a semi-casual guild, but its way more about teamwork and coordination. You see a lot more of people passing gear to those who need it more, you see a lot more interaction between players. (back then, in raids i never talked to anyone outside of the healing channel) and the raids.
Oh boy, the raids. They are so big, well-designed and jawdroppingly stunningly pwetty!
Bosses are welldesigned and well tested. (if you haven't heard about lady vajsh back in the day, then shhhhush).
They are well balanced aswell - compared to the old days.
And the splitting of raids into 10 and 25 manned was a stroke of genius by Blizzard. never has there been so many people raiding. So the pool of players to choose from, should you need more, is better. Yes the standards has risen, but isnt that a sign of prosperity. Now-a-days, you don't need to be either a) a priest or b) have your entire guild spend weeks to gear you up in old instances in order to get a new recruit usefull in end-game. Badges and PuGs raiding the dungeons made sure of that.
Then there is the new class. Death Knights. How cool are they? If they are Dwarfs: very very cool. If they are human (or a pink gnome, swelt) not so much, but still cool! :D
Death knights filled in a hole in game, and along with further buffing of warior, paladin and druid tanks, they made sure that noone had to spend 3 hours of playing-and-having-fun-time waiting around for a tank in order to hit a dungeon.
They even shortened dungeons so you didnt need to clear an entire night to go have some fun, kill some bosses and get some gear.
Then there was leveling up. 2 starter zones. Enough said? I think so.
Lastly the lore: name the one greatest villain in WoW. ... go on...
If you didnt say Arthas/the lich king, you ehh well.. you better start... well something about monkeys, your uncle, icecream and pooh!!! Or: 'you are wrong'.
Pretty much all of the lore sorrounding warcraft (no, not World of warcraft, just warcraft) centers around the fall of Arthas, and him turning from the greatest hero of the world, into its greatest threat.
And now we get to fight him (eventually). How utterly fantastic is that? Ill tell you how: very!