You missed out on something, and I do recommend you try it when they relaunch vanilla. I never reached the end game, but took my time exploring and having fun, and I still remember it as one of the best gaming experiences I've had. Mind you, this is based on vanilla and the first two expansions. I tried again with one of the recent expansions, after they made it kiddy-friendly, where you gain a level every time you look at an enemy and more or less the only stat you have is your gender, and that wasn't very interesting. So I am definitely looking forward to WOW Classic.
You know, I've never played WoW. I keep hearing stories like you guys are telling, basically that you tend to regret spending so much time on it even though you were very engaged at the time you did. Over the years, even from the beginning, people have fired warning shots across my bow and I've taken heed. I have too much of a problem with addictive playing not to.