Completely agree with Rob on this. They've taken out the tedious, "make one mistake and you've broken the character" aspect of D2. People are getting hung up on the "I can't put skill points in anymore" aspect. No, you can't, because you have access to the entire pool, and rather than using skill points to "customize" your character (again, if you veer off the proper build, your character is gimped and broken, so there really wasn't any "customization" beyond choosing a build), you use runes and a custom loadout to customize. They haven't removed customization at all-- they've just changed the level at which you are customizing the character. Like Rob said, I'm much more into the aspect of being able to totally modify my skills to change the effect to suit my style, rather than 'OMFUG SYNERGY GET ALL THE SYNERGY MOVES TO MAKE MY ONE SKILL JACKED +2000%.'
As for losing stat customization: D2 was "get enough STR and DEX to equip your gear, then dump into VIT," because your gear made all the difference in that regard.
On the other hand of all of this rationalization on my part, I'm a cynic. I believe there is nothing Blizzard can do to please the fanbase at large. I've been hearing cries of 'BETRAYAL!' since this game was announced. Diablo 2 changed the skill system from Diablo 1-- for the better. It's no big deal. I apologize if I sound incendiary or offensive, but I just don't understand how people can doubt Blizzard. They put a lot of care into their games, more than many developers-- whether or not they're part of Activision. They didn't merge and suddenly stop giving a shit about their games. If anything they've released has ever been truly disappointing, it's only because we get so attached to the classics that we've played for hundreds upon hundreds of hours that they can't imagine the possibility of anything changing and it still being the same experience we remember having. If I wanted to play Diablo 2 again, I'd go right ahead and click the shortcut on my desktop. I want an evolution of that formula. I want Diablo 3. And when it comes out and everyone hates it because it isn't Diablo 2, I'll go right on ahead playing it.