Yesterday I joined a half-PUG half-guild ICC10 run. First wing was no problem, aside from a slight trouble on Deathwhisper while protecting the quest add. The poor abomination bosses of Festergut and Rotface died easily as well. Then we didn't kill anything else, though we nearly got Dreamwalker up.
I didn't care about the run much. I don't know what loot drops in 10 man. I don't care much about badges. I have all the rep. I was hoping to get some souls for my Shadow's Edge, but I approached that as I would any extremely long grind: don't expect to get anywhere fast.
In other words, I had no incentive to go. No external incentive. I was there only because I thought the experience itself would be fun, regardless of any reward.
I had a blast. I hit things with my axe. I hit more things with my axe. I fired a cannon a bunch at an Alliance ship. I threw a bomb at Putricide. What more could a person want? Oh... oh yes, it turns out repeatedly failing at Dreamwalker means fighting lots and lots of adds, which all give souls. I went from 100/1000 at the start of the run to 313 at the end.
The last couple days I've been running some randoms with a friend. I guess the badges are good, but it's more interesting to just play and enjoy what I'm doing. I switched to blood from frustration at having only one 1h that wasn't fast; DW frost with fast weapons is bad. It's new, much less to press, but I'm a bit disoriented by the different rune patterns and cycles.
I've often been quick to blame Blizzard for loot hamster wheels and pressuring players to do content they don't want to do, just for the loot. I still think I'm right, that Blizzard shouldn't push gear as much and throw it like candy at a parade. But as players, we're still responsible for our own play, for choosing to do what we enjoy. If we're not having fun, we're doing something wrong.