From CrazyKinux's Blog Banter:
Why do you love EVE Online so much?
Such a simple, vague and yet difficult question.
I love EVE because of its complexity, the way it immerses you and also its brutality.
The way you can do whatever you want, however you want and whenever you want. The number of options is almost limitless, who says you can't mine in a titan, hell everyone will hate you but still, you have the option to! The career paths you can choose are pretty set, the PvE experience is set, but then you can have the option of doing it or not.
The way that your actions, success, failure or passiveness may or may not affect other real players and the environment around you. May they be your trusted corpmates who are relying on you or a fearsome enemy fleet bearing down on you. You have to admit, even though not squeaky clean, the graphical aspect of EVE is fantastic. I'm sure everyone has taken a screenshot of some celestial object sometime.
Brutality. Heck, life is life. You get blown up, you die. You move on. Although I like this way of playing, many do not. They may find it frustrating, and may emoragequit because of it. I see it as a path, a way to improve, to strive to be the best, learn from my mistakes and next time, I'll be the one giving out the brutal life.