Re: LEGO isn't what it used to be...
I guess you didn't see the Lego Masters TV competition. This was a lot of standard brick stuff mixed with some of the specialist blocks/pieces. Some truly inspired designs and builds.
From my perspective, I agree with the comments about creativity - my youngest loves Lego, but only for building the models as sold. My experience was totally different, creating buildings, vehicles, spaceships and landscapes from my own imagination - much more rewarding IMHO.
Final point, to the tune of Frozen's Let it go:
"Lego go, Lego go, Logo sell those bricks to me
Lego go, Lego go, even better make them f-ree-ee
I don't care what your profits are;
Let the bricks go cheap
The prices really bothered me every time"