I'm not asking you to compliment 4e. As I said before, the game has its problems. Many of its problems are problems that existed in 3.x as well (I'm sure quite a few of its problems have existed as far back as First and Second Edition).
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm insulting you because that isn't my intent. What I'm trying to say is that with regards to Fourth Edition, your comments come across as uninformed. You're more than welcome to put me in my place by telling me what kind of experience you have with the system. (How long you've been playing it, studying it, gathering opinions from other players who have experience, et cetera.)
I talk trash about Fourth Edition because I followed its development from the time that Wizards of the Coast first announced it (I even predicted its release date to the year and month). I was given a free copy of the 4e Player's Handbook in an attempt to "win me over" after I refused to stop running 3.5 events at the same conventions where the RPGA was running 4e events.
I talk trash about 4e because I've been playing and running a 4e campaign for over a year and I'm familiar with its flaws. I've seen a lot of what the system has to offer, and I know many of its shortcomings. I've heard comparisons to Magic: the Gathering, but having played both, I think there are a lot of things Magic where 4e fails tremendously.
with you on a lot of points you've made, and I do so with a fair amount of experience in the system. I think spell power in 4e caps out around the effectiveness of 4th-level spells in Third Edition, and I think spellcasters are largely under-valued. The controller role is a freaking joke that I wish WotC would stop trying to make. (The Essentials hunter is one of the most effective controller classes I've seen to date.) The ability to create new worlds and planes of existence, grant wishes and perform miracles, is something you can almost take for granted
in Third Edition, and 4e falls short unless you want to dedicate your entire character to doing it via Epic Destiny.
When you say something like:
There are some indications that levels above 30 were contemplated for 4e.
The level chart in the dmg goes up to 40.
But where are those level 40 items/monster/rituals/powers?
The level chart in damage, if I'm thinking of the one you're talking about, is intended for monsters, not players. Monsters can go all the way up to 99th level if your DM is sadistic, and that's because damage scales on a linear basis. The damage for minions, and average damage for weak, medium, and strong monster attacks scales with average PC hit points. Because PC hit points are on a linear scale as well. PC advancement stops, but it's useful to have monsters that go above PC levels in order to continue providing a high-level challenge.
Those 40th-level items, rituals, and powers? Um, well, they don't exist because 30 levels is hard enough to support. (And they continue to get complaints because the core 8 classes get the most support of all, and both races and classes outside of core have minimal support.) 4e already has more support for all of its 30 levels than 3.x ever had for its 20 levels. *shrug*
Meanwhile, support for material is continuing to drop because the market is falling out from under WotC (all the competitive products are forcing them to change strategies). Which I'm not saying is a terrible thing, either. I like to see them get their asses kicked now and again. I'm not exactly their fanboy -- see previous statement about how they tried to buy me off with a free book. I'm not exactly impressed by them.