The OP ignores changes in the player base and changes in game lifecycle. You want to revert the game to the way it was back then, but that won't change the fact that back then the game was new to many players, and that the experience was new to many. When I started playing (tragically) a mere 5 years ago, I found the game engrossing, and that there was a world, etc. it probably wasn't as great as yours, though.
Now, I grant you, it seems like 2-3 months after the expac -which was excellent - a lot of people have dropped subs, and this was backed by Blizzard's statement. But if I log on during prime time, there are plenty of people, crafters available, etc.
You seem to be falling into the age old trap of fondly remembering the early days of, well, it doesn't matter, and thinking that if you could just go back to when it was shiny and new, everything would be great again. People, families, companies, and communities are in a constant state of change. You change with them or you move on. If your time has come, farewell, friend. Personally, I've been quitting WoW for over two years, so they must be doing something right.