Apart from the so-called "golden age", there was definitely a sweet spot in computer RPGs from like 1997-02. Very advanced concepts, storylines, dialogue... hard-boiled, as I expressed before.
Now it seems like interface, mechanics and interaction have degenerated. I can cite innumerable examples of this phenomena in numerous games... but it annoys me to elaborate. I think you understand, anyway...
The biggest barrier for me in present RPGs is their reduction in complexity on all levels, except visually. All these "lawful good, busy-body princess" games with no choices, no consequences, are just pathetic. This is the reason I returned to PBeM gaming... But to my dismay, even traditional tabletop RP systems like D&D (4e is coming soon...) seem to be pandering to the broadest of demographics, resulting in almost meaningless, flavourless gaming.
This is called alienation.
The solution? Remain with the older systems and houserule them, since they are inherently superior, conceptually/thematically. It is impossible to hand over hard earnings for complete crap on a stick, and crap is no longer the exception, but the rule...