We played a lot of 4e (its entire span) and had a lot of fun. But as I said, it always felt off for us. And I really like that game. Essentials started to go in the right direction for us. Faster combat. More natural language (go into a stance and just attack felt way more convenient). And last but not least: different recharge rates for martials and the rest, which for us spiced things up.Yeah, 4e wouldn't be a good fit for that playstyle, it really doesn't want you to do that.
It wants the GM to handcraft every combat map, with interesting features and stuff, but doesn't have a system in place to help you do that (like a deck of cards with elements like 'big drop' or 'furniture' that you'd place on a grid as you randomly drew them). Something that encourages the players to vary what they're doing.
And still, we just never made real progress in the camapaigns... which was due to the fact that we could not find enough time to play, so the switch to 5e which is designed to be played in shorter time frames was natural for us.
4e was in no way a bad game. Just not the right fit for us.