I downloaded it today (European release FTW!) and I've already beaten six of the robot masters. It's tough, but not impossible, especially with the ability to buy energy tanks rather easily. Of course, I've beaten the previous 8 a few times, so maybe it comes more easily to me.
RROD is not a cheap excuse. When I buy a console, I expect it to actually work for a reasonable time. That said, I'll get one when there are enough games on it that I want to play that aren't also available on PC.
I've been an avid gamer since the Atari/Intellivision days. My gaming has dwindled slightly as I've grown older, more due to time restraints more than anything else, but I don't think I'll ever stop completely. My fiance is a gamer as well so marriage isn't going to be a hindrance. It's impossible to say for sure how the future will be, but I doubt games will disappear from my life.
The problem is that most gamers haven't accepted the fact that the "new" E3 is directed toward media and investors. In that light Nintendo had an incredible conference, something that can be confirmed by reading newspapers. The fact is that E3 no longer caters to the gamers themselves seems to be something that's hard for a lot of "hardcores" to understand.