Forgot to mention ... I much prefer the initiative system in 2e to the mechanics of later editions. It just seems easier and more efficient to me. Now granted, as I've already admitted, I haven't actually played newer editions so maybe I'm offbase.
But the bottom line is, I haven't seen anything in 3.x or 4th ed that inspires me to abandon a system that has served me so well all these years. I understand that WotC and others need to make money and the best way to profit is to make things newer (I won't say better). But despite rabid advertizing campaigns designed to convince me and the numerous others in my group that 2e is broken and needs (or needed) a complete overhaul, I'm not buying it. Call me old-fashioned, I don't mind. I see more broken than "fixed" in newer editions (though I prefer Pathfinder's mechanics to the either 3rd or 4th).
I haven't ever stopped playing 2e since it came out. In fact, I'm proud to say I have never played any other version (except 1e in its day). I have been converting modules and adventure paths all along the way. Was an original pathfinder subscriber and only quit because I have so much more material than I can ever use.
I don't find the books confusing at all or poorly organized especially in comparison to 3e or 3.5. (I do buy the new edition books to help with conversions although I have nothing 4e).
I've heard numerous complaints over the years that 2e requires too many house rules but that is not true from my experience. I have very few house rules.
One house rule that I do have though addresses the problems with NWP (what newer editions call skills). In my game, proficiencies start at 20%. Every time a character attempts to use the skill he improves by 1% regardless if he succeeds or fails. He gets 100 xp if he succeeds or his current percentage chance with a failure. I think my system is far superior to the marketed mechanics. Why should your character be a better swimmer just because he's 10th level and I'm 3rd? Maybe I live next to a lake or have been engaged in lots of water scenarios and you've been exploring in a desert. The experience point bonuses encourage PCs to use their NWPs as much as possible, especially at low levels when chances of success are low. The new and inventive ways PCs use their skills adds great flavor and depth to the game, especially the role-playing aspects. In addition, any character has a 5% chance to succeed at any skill (even if untrained you might get lucky) and no character has better than a 95% chance of success in any skill (nobody's perfect)
I know 2e isn't everybody's cup of tea but my group has always had great fun. I think the class restrictions and other strict rules maintain a sense of variety in the game and tend to limit min-maxing. The streamlined rules make it easy to learn and easy to play, imo. Also, since I am usually the DM, I appreciate the cinematic, story-telling flow of the game versus laborious mechanical drudgery of later editions.
Go 2nd Edition!!
This is a good question and one I've wondered about too. I hate to nitpick and let "realism" destroy the fantasy of the game but there are times when realism must intrude. I don't like the idea that PCs just drop their lit torch to engage in combat and then blithely retrieve it when they're done. I grew up in the Adirondack mountains (we know cold!) and am also a bit of a pyromaniac so I let experience be my guide on this one. I disagree with those who say the torch is going to burn just the same whether it's being held, scounced, or discarded. My simple rule is, if the torch is dropped and left unattended for more than 5 rounds then it is not available for retrieval (you can't pick it back up without special consideration). The fire will spread along the length of the torch making it extremely difficult to pick up or carry. Other than that, I do allow the torch to burn for an equal amount of time regardless of position; although this isn't strictly accurate from a scientific point of view (sorry, Biology teacher here). The exception to this is the aforementioned abandoned torch. I assume it burns for half its normal time (or twice as fast if you prefer) when left prone. Technically this could lead to an out-of-control fire or a draw for wandering monsters,etc but those kinds of details have never really come up. The whole thing comes down to an attempt to discourage my players from dropping and retrieving torches in the same negligent manner that they might a sword or other inanimate object.
We play 2nd edition in a homebrew that is really just a slightly reorganized Greyhawk but with bits and snatches of other interesting ideas from a variety of sources. The pantheon is very large and often confusing but the one god we've never included is Boccob. I agree - he's boring. In my estimation, he's more of a "science" and less of a "religion". If he doesn't care & won't get involved & doesn't require our devotion to function then *shrug* who needs 'im? There are plenty of interesting deities out there who DO "need" a character's worship/devotion. I replace any Boccob references/temples in my campaign with academic/intellectual centers.
I really liked the post about the FBI viewpoint and also about how you adapted Boccob's followers to be in a position of power and influence in your Night Below campaign. It sounds very similar in some aspects to my view. I mean, one would hardly call the FBI a religion!
Anyway, I've never had Boccob be a religion in my games and there haven't been any negative reprocusions from it so far (I think).