In many ways it is annoying that this book was put out. It is probably the best iteration of D&D, although, I think 2nd edition was more conducive to role-playing, but it came out to soon after 3.0 and then was ditched for 4th edition too soon. I looked at 4th edition, but everything that I saw made it look like a complete disaster.
I am in the process, years after everyone else of switching from 3.5 to Pathfinder. Pathfinder is what 3.5 should have been. In it they comprehensively go in and alter it to fix all the glitches. There is no reason, that this could not have happened with 3.5. I think it is pretty clear, that for the last ten years or so, the people in charge of D&D making decisions at Wizards/Hasbro have been corporate types, who have never role-played in their life and that they are intent in driving all their fans away. D&D is old school, rules heavy role-playing with an emphasis on combat.
There has been this intent to switch D&D from being a role playing game to the worlds most complicated Skirmish miniatures game. My hope is that the next edition will end this trend. If it does, I might go back. Otherwise this is the swan song of D&D for me. The best of the system, although only barely. Despite arguably being the peak of D&D, it is also the time when Wizards turned to a Warhammer, all our customers are idiots, philosophy and the destruction of their intellectual property.