I've played 40k for a long while now. My freinds Bill and Mark sucked me into it back in 98-ish and we had alot of fun with it over the years. But sadly, all the changes have slowly been making it less fun for me. The last time I really had fun with it was with my Orks in 2004.
Granted, since 2005 I havent played much due to life getting in the way. But since then GW has made thier changes. My hiatus saw two new editions, and a variety of game changes, that really just look like the juggling of the meta-game in order to sell a certain type of model(like transports for 5th ed, or anything with an assualt cannon in 4th edition).
The last piece of GW stuff I bought was a BFM box in 2005, and a bottle of Devlan mud last summer. And I will admit they are putting out some great models, which we have to pay through the nose(and other orifices for).
Lets look at some of the things GW has done over the years-
2001- Online Price fixing- GW limits independent resellers to a 20% discount. Prior to this the norm was a 30% discount, and 40% could be found.
2002-2004 Price hikes. There was internet uproar-everyone was gonna quit. no one did. Reasoning from GW 'We need the funds to build our plastics plant in the US so we can keep costs down'
2005/2006 4th ed comes out. Only a minor price hike on a few kits.
2007 a few more kits get a price hike.
2008/2009 5th ed rolls out, Mech armies become king- first rhinos and drop pods are hard to come buy, then Chimeras as the IG codex comes out. Throw in a price hike for good measure- one that covers most of their ranges.
2010 Guess what....despite massive restructuring in GW-US, a move made for 'cost cutting and efficiency' we get yet another price hike. But with a clever bit of PR- they release Spearhead right afterwards- so the sheep get to think 'Oooh wow!! All tank games!!!' and they run out to buy 5 or 6 more tanks to use. Oh- and you have to buy the Spearhead book when it comes out too.
I should add into all that- the heart breaking decline of White Dwarf. The once noble dwarf used to be a useful read, hobby tips, chapter approved articles, short stories, painting tutorials, Army Spotlights. Then they pimped it out to some whorbits, er, I mean hobbits. After that it circled to bowl a few times before being flushed down the toilet into the realm of total crap.
I still like the the 40k fluff, and modeling. I have like 20 armies worth of crap to prove it. But Im going to whittle that all down to 4 or so. Pet project armies that may end up with no gaming value.
For gaming value- Im setting sail with Privateer Press. Thier prices may not be much better than GW's, but thier core product and rules are more functional and smooth. It evokes the sort of fun feeling that 2nd edition 40k did- but without the confusing complexity. Theres guns, robots, magic, and a variety of other goodstuff that make for plenty of eye candy and fun stuff to paint. And in all- the people into it seem to be more of a mind to have fun- the PP forums in general are much less tense than the 40k forums. A better vibe I suppose. And the artwork theyre putting forth in thier new books is impressive- along with thier sculpts improving over the years this makes me happy to see such progress.
Anyhow- for those that follow my bloggity goodness, you can expect to see Warmachine stuff taking precedence over 40k for the forseeable future. Something might change that, but Im really sick of GW so it seems unlikely I'll ever embrace thier game to the same extent I used to.