I strongly agree with what you said in the ISML thread. A character with some substance, regardless of whether they're ultra-likeable or ultra-hateful, beats a passive one any day for me. But the sad thing is, the majority of people want people and things in general to be easy. Most people aren't like you - you're not the typical anime fan since you're in the medical profession and are more of a thinker than the norm. Most people want security and no frills. But yes, that's just a panacea to allow people to hide from reality in the end. It's those same reasons I'm indifferent about K-ON. It's as easy as a series can get, but people lap it up because it is easy.
AVCon 2011 (anime and video games convention in Adelaide that happened July 23-24) was awesome. 14k+ attendance was a damn good result, particularly considering Adelaide is one of the smaller capital cities in Australia. Nearly 50 people attended the History of Anime panel I did - which is a lot more than I expected, particularly since LittleKuriboh was doing a repeat of his panel at that time. Editing of the recording is finished, doing the uploads now. Presentation lated 51 minutes, so the panel will be uploaded as 4 videos (Youtube's current limit is 15 mins) and fully available in 8 hours. Look forward to it.