EQ2 has a lot more following. I don't know what irked Mentalepsy, and I was never a hardcore EQ2 player. That's probably why I liked many of the things they changed, such as making travel a lot faster over the years.
I don't have a problem with making the game less of a pain in the ass; honestly if I had played the game at launch, I probably would have hated it (I started right when Echoes of Faydwer came out). There have also been some nice features added over the years, like guild halls. I also agree that the improved fast travel options were much-needed, especially since "travel" in EQ2 generally just means sitting through a bunch of consecutive loading screens. That's not "dumbing down" the game, that's just making it waste less of my time. :p
I have a lot of issues with the current state of the game, but my three biggest gripes in brief are: 1) the irreparably broken itemization and mechanics, which cause major and varied problems at all
level ranges; 2) the poor showing and even cancellation of new content in recent times (especially Skyshrine), and the reckless obsoleting of still-current-level content; 3) the very poor handling of feature development (Age of Discovery is still
badly underdeveloped, and in the interim we've gotten baffling dead weight like SOEmote and the station cash minigames).
I've never liked SOE's handling of the game in general, but the past year or two has really been where I have really started to see it as careless and destructive, rather than just clumsy. There's still some quality gaming to be had at the lower levels (say, 1-70), but even that is a mess nowadays.