I admit it - I'm taking the easy way out and doing a lazy post today. I'm taking this opportunity to say "I didn't give second edition a fair chance". Of course, the second edition I'm talking about is the AD&D second edition. I remember the buildup to the release in Dragon magazine. I was pretty excited and was looking forward to the new books.
My buddy Jamie got the 2E PHB and we went through it cover to cover. I liked the clearer language and organization but I did not like what I felt was the "de-Gygaxing" of the rules. That pretty much sums up my impression of the core books. It felt sanitized and politically correct with the removal of Assassins, Barbarians, Half-Orcs, and many of the monsters. I never bought the second edition books and never played in a straight second edition game either.
I have had the opportunity to look at the core books again and I must say that for the most part the game is better explained, organized, and presented. Plus, it's close enough to AD&D to add back in anything that got "left out". So, on a second look, I would play in a second edition game IF it was limited to the core books, certain first edition material added back in, & house rules. I do know for a fact that I would avoid the Complete series of books and kits altogether.
There it is - a quick and lazy post. I'm hitting the sack. Maybe I'll write more about second edition sometime if I pick up the books or maybe one of the 2E retroclones...