Well, it is true that 3rd edition has its flaws but i enjoy the versatility. The 2nd was somehow limiting, and i am not talking about the level of power you could achieve. Not being able to play an elven bard was idiotic, for example. Also the 3rd edition allows for much more personalized characters. For example, why should a wizard, especially a wizard of a long living rage, know nothing else but his/her books? Or a fighter know nothing but how to bruise people? It is much easier now to built a character and a background that does reflect on your character sheet as well.
On the other hand i admit that when a Greek fanzine made fun of the 3rd edition saying that they should give a laptop for free with the core books so you could calculate 'the easy algorithms necessary for hitting something' it wasn't far from the truth...all that 'plus two from that spell, minus one from holding a shield, minus two for having eaten spicy food before the fight, minus one because you insulted the DM...' make a battle hard.
One the other hand they mean that you have much more to do when you engage in battle even if you are a fighter: you can combine feats, position yourself strategically, or if that is what you want just go ahead and hit. And it IS much more realistic that the 2nd edition combat.
Another minus of the third is that it misses the classical feeling of the 2nd which had a much more medieval - fairy tale style in its art and choices of characters. The versatility of the 3rd means that the world has a much less defined atmosphere. It is up to the DM to provide that feeling now - for example i forbid the prestige classes that are inspired from Chinese/Japanese tales, and another DM forbids the too flamboyant magic using classes to keep the setting more medieval than fairy tale.
Of course players are divided over that, but the 3rd edition supporters of our group have the ultimate argument on our side: calling the 2nd edition fans Granpa!
Please don't ban me now that i came out and said that...