Sorry I haven't been able to read through the whole thread, but anyway, here's what I have to say (even if it might have been said before):
Crucible is one of the few quests with a real D&D feel. Not only hack and slash. I won't insist on the story line here.
Yes, it's hard, but that's why I love it (and I still suck at it big time even if I've been playing on and off since the game went F2P, and probably ran it about 50 times). It's up to Turbine to decide the way it wants to take DDO. For me, it seems to be going farther and farther away from D&D and more towards your average MMO. I'll still run it every life at level on elite.