I admire what Wizards of the Coast is trying to do with D&D next. I think the core idea of unifying all the editions, and making a system that accommodates the many factions that have developed amongst D&D players over the years is a noble, if impossible, idea.
I was discouraged when Monte Cook left, it was a bad omen, because he was one of the best designers and writers in their talent pool. But I tend to be optimistic at heart and hope they pull it off. Wizard's recent interest in re-publishing the great products of TSR's past is an encouraging sign.
I wonder what Wizards could do to win back fans old & new alike. I have some ideas...
For the old fans I'd like to see Wizards do a serious reorganized reprint of Original D&D. Take all the books published before the Monster Manual, professionally edit and organize them into a Cyclopedia, and illustrate them in a manner that respects the aesthetic of that era and is still professional. With a nod to great classic artists and illustrators, but without the ridiculous conventions of today with its spiky armor, over sized weapons, cartoonish muscles, and garish colors. I want something a little more believable, something like this:
I've been following D&D next, downloading and reading each version. Play-testing on occasion and remain cautiously hopeful. If you are curious check out the links on RPGGeek here.