Base 3.0, and to a degree 3.5, was similar to the 2e druid, and I played several that I enjoyed thoroughly, but the flavor in supplements started to spin towards shapeshifting, leaving the original idea by the wayside.. when you can turn into an aardvark and kill gods, who cares why you're doing it? 4e druid was the logical progression.. the horrible logical progression. Not a druid so much as an angry shapeshifter with a nature theme.Which is the 'classic' druid? 2e? He got shapeshifting here, it was only even less defined than in 3.x.
The 3.x druid was a very capable class and a great controller and striker. Where did you find him lacking vs. the 'pure whatever'?
I won't say anything bad about the 4e (or even the later 3.x versions of) druid as a class, but I didn't agree with keeping the name and trashing most of the rest. Hence my relief at finally seeing a 4e version of Druid as Druid, instead of Druid as traditional Berserker with a touch of traditional shaman.