I stopped playing the old EQ around the time of Planes of Power which felt like it had already jumped the shark before then. There seemed to be quite a few folks who felt the same way so they started work on an EQ emulator to recreate the original era of the game and it continues on today.

What are the chances of this happening with DDO?

I'm not sure what the legal issues are but if such a thing were to happen it would play so differently from how DDO works I doubt they would lose any customers since they are not aimed at the same people.

Every update takes us further away from the base D&D rules - I would gladly pay extra for a 'core rules' server or character option but I don't see that happening as they seem set on catering more to the WoW type crowd. If they won't make a real D&D game then an emulator that does shouldn't bother them right?

Just a note: When I say I want a core rules game I mean in every detail – permanent lvl drain, xp loss, the correct attack iteration, no enhancements or destinies, etc etc.