I had the honor of playing the Original DnD back in the day when 1st edition or AD&D was in its glory, I played basic, I playtested the 2nd edition and played 3rd and through SRD rules 3.5. So I'm of the opinion real DnD died its slow death starting as far back as 1st edition. The original DnD was about love one could see Gygax really adored his creation then basic came out and that also had many charms. It was easier to play, accessible and kept many elements of the original DnD system. Then AD&D came along...
Now I know why he did it, money. Three hardbound books and the other things needed to play was comparatively expensive to original DnD and the boxed sets. You had the core books, you had supplemental books which kind of became mandatory to run the game. But it was a shame he gave up his dream the best game ever put out, the original DnD and later basic still on the money to a great degree.
Later 2nd edition another change that made AD&D obsolete but one could argue the mechanics and play were at least better.
Then WotC got the game and did 3rd edition and then screwed us over with 3.5 and the screw over continues with the upcoming incompatible with any earlier sets 4th edition. Its no longer about the love of the game of a designer putting his all into a creation but handing it over to professional design teams bent on making a cheap product that lost its soul.
And why the hell does more complicated equal better? For me the more complicated a game is the less fun it is to run and to play. The learning curves are a nightmare for new players. The GM has so much more work to do I think that is on purpose. Its easier to buy a book for a game world than make it up yourself anymore so MORE MONEY.
I wish someone could convince me I'm wrong and inspire me to even look at the DnD set about to come out but for me it seems DnD is dead and that started a long time ago, WotC just put the stake in its heart faster. And what I read about and saw as a preview for the 4th edition its going to be the most complicated and power hungry set ever to be released not suited to ROLE-playing but ROLL-playing.