I see that less of a DIY and more of a time when it was acceptable to have a crummy products. It's like people bragging about how much better cars were because they were easier to work on while ignoring the fact that you knew they were easier to work on because they needed their first major repair before they hit 30,000 miles.
I'm getting a game with functional rules, which I would argue is an improvement. It's still a DIY game though. In my last campaign, I had a Mind Flayer who was a good guy and only ate the brains of animals. You can still run your campaign how you want.
Nope. Missing the point. First, you asked whether it was ever a DIY hobby - which ... c'mon. It was a totally different ethos. As has been recounted previously, it used to be more of a toolkit for creating games than a game itself.
Next, it's great that you modify things a little. The point is ... that's less common than it used to be. For a lot of reasons. Partly because there is a standardization of play due to "better rules." Partly because of 3e and its progeny. Partly because of the shift to using on-line and computerized resources (which require homogenization). Partly because of the shift of more tables to using official product, especially APs. And partly because there is increased fetishization of RAW (and or "player empowerment").
None of this is bad, but it is. In fact, many people would argue that this is a feature, not a bug- as people have less time to devote to the hobby, they want to spend more time playing, and less time DIYing.
What's weird is that you are arguing the point (now with a different argument). But hey- feel free to conduct your own survey! When you get the results, please post them.