I've got a couple hundred hours in the basic game now and I've decided that I probably played it wrong. I focused early on smithing, alchemy and enchanting. I ended up making better equipment for myself than anything I can find in the game. It really drained any suspense out of the battles when even the most powerful bad guys have trouble hurting me and die to a quick flurry of strikes or a couple of arrow hits.
"Well, it is one thing for Bill Clinton to say, I feel your pain. It is another thing for Barack Obama to say I feel your pain that I have caused." - George Will