The OP is basing his concerns on way too many assumptions.
Q u o t e:
When I heard that the level cap would be easy to reach, it brought back a bunch of terrible memories of being relegated to the sidelines as semi-useless despite having attained a high level because of shoddy gear and grinding gear with no tangible benefit until the item was in your hands.
So D2's gear system was flawed. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. But that doesn't mean D3 will have the same flaws. They should work on polishing the gear system, not padding the game with more levels because they're afraid the gear system will fail.
Q u o t e: Playing another game where the game starts at level cap because you are trying to farm/attain high tier gear is awful. Being the same level and having days of gameplay to put in before being on an equal footing is annoying.
What are you talking about? What game has you start at a level cap? Since D3 will obviously have you start at lvl 1 or 0, why even bring it up here?
Q u o t e: Another foreseeable problem is each subsequent expansion raising the level cap. This will make all players without the expansion essentially worthless (if they are allowed to play in the same game i.e. WoW, DAoC, etc)..
I don't see what the big deal is. The first expansion will probably be out 18-24 months after the initial release. If you're still playing by then, paying $40-50 for a new character or two and a bunch of new content isn't too much to ask.
Q u o t e: Diablo II was not a long game in the slightest. Yes, it took a while if you were a summon necromancer on single player but in multiplayer without rushing or powerleveling I would start from scratch and be through more than 3/4 of the content (a1 hell, lvl 55-60) in a day, maybe two. At least hitting 90 was something tangible to shoot for. If it takes me a week to hit 60, that is still a lot faster than the month or longer I would be working my way up the ladder and then I will be 60, just like everyone else trying to get the best gear.
They're not just copying the leveling curve from D2. How do you know it won't take a month to get to 60?
After 10 years of playing D2 and many years developing D3, I certainly hope they can come up with better end game options than more leveling and gear grinding. They didn't make the level cap 60 so we can get the gear grinding sooner. No, they made the level cap 60 so it's easier for us to get to brand new end game features.