To be fair, Diablo 2 was also terribly easy until late Nightmare, even played on #players8. I remember running through Normal without even stopping to kill monsters, just to get through it ASAP.
But you can't LITERALLY stand there and go make a sandwich or something- whats a gamer to do if he dies!? It's old school game d-sign to allow a new player to get hurt. At all...Yeah (at least according to Acti-BLIZZARD.)
Why is being forced to roll and level a new character because you spent points wrong a virtue?
You didn't have to, the last d2 patch gave you 3 resets (one per difficulty) and more if you fetch items from act bosses.
AND it worked really well.
ALSO- if you can't change your character easily, it's easier to become attached to your toon because it becomes an investment rather than something throw-away. Choices actually have consequences- Oh my! Ask people who played games like everquest where dying meant you lost LEVELS and DAYS WORTH of EXP if you died and didn't get a REZ from a cleric. You could potentially lose ALL of your items you've acquired from all your amazing adventures if you don't get your corpse in time too.
Time investment + permanent consequences = attachment.
Making choices that matter gives meaning to your actions.
It's gotten to the point where Blizz is so desperate they are drastically 'dumbing down' their games. This is when you let marketing start designing your games. See WoW talent tree revamp and debacle. See the friend recruitment program for Wow- where you invite a friend and they INSTANTLY become MAX level AND you get a free mount. See this horrible game. They want you to just buy the game out of hype- they don't care what happens after it leaves store shelves (to an extent). They could care less. This is not the Blizzard North we all loved- far from it. Anyone who vaguely knew how to make or worked on previous Diablo games at Blizz is long gone.
The only reason they don't dumb down Starcraft is because if they messed with it then Korea and hardcore SC players would have their heads and they would literally go out of business if their WoW expire ever got stale or boring (like WoW could EVER get stale or boring).