Thank the gods I never got hooked on this one like I did WoW. Basically, I loved the epic storyline at the heart of the game, as that made PVE content fun and engaging for the most part. However, the other side quests were still mostly run-of-the-mill kill-boars-to-loot-umpteen-boar-hides. Ugh. Enough said on that. The looting quests weren't as bad as WoW loot quests, to be sure, so that's something. The graphics were...interesting. I saw some tearing and bad anti-aliasing in places, but nothing absurd. Artistically speaking, the game did fairly well, and I actually was more aesthetically pleased with it than WoW's environments, mostly because of a lack of purple grass and orange clouds. Good gawd.
PVP is another issue. Even in WoW, one could have a reasonably fun time conducting raids on opposing factions' towns or simply ganking those poor soloing players out in the contested wilderness. Battlefields notwithstanding, open-world PVP was fun and challenging. This sort of thing doesn't even exist in LOTRO. First, main characters cannot even attack each other except when dueling. The monster classes are available as enemies. However, a chronic problem with this situation is either the players with Free Peoples characters have spent too much time leveling their main that they do not want to spend time playing a ready-made monster, or those hard-core PVPers on the server join the Monster side (the 'creeps'), and neglect the Free Peoples side, leaving one of two sides without an enemy. Fun...really.
Note the main issue with this whole review: I have to compare this game to WoW. Basically, this game is a victim of bad timing. If it had come out a few years later, or with a radically different game design (ie Tabula Rasa), then we could not be having this discussion. Sorry LOTRO, you've been replaced before you even were spawned. The novelty of orcs and goblins, hobbits and elves only shines so long, then we get down to brass tacks and see the real game beneath the glam.