LEGO isn't what it used to be...
The '70s and '80s where probably the haydays of LEGO in Europe.
Back then, it was possible to build large, sturdy structures. Since, however, the company changed the bricks so they don't stick together as well. Not as many broken fingernails, but it's no longer possible to build the same large structures that used to be popular back in the day.
In addition, LEGO tends to look more and more like Playmobil in that the pre-formed pieces are getting larger and larger. I don't much care for the popular themed stuff either. I guess that's what people want these days, though.
On the other hand, the Creator sets are quite fantastic.