I have not yet been fortunate enough to receive a beta key, so I cannot yet speak from experience, however I frequent the Diablo forums amongst a few others, and follow patch notes.
I was disappointed to see the removal of rune itemization. The new system really looks like a regurgitated form of a very wow like system. It worries me me to think themed builds during leveling are no longer possible.
In a game that was initially (at least in part) made famous by the itemization, why is blizzard straying away?
Anyone have any ideas to reintroduce itemization to this system?
The skill system is nothing at all like WoW. I am not sure where you find the comparison.
As I have been lucky enough to be in the Beta (thanks DFans) I can tell you that compared to the previous skill system, this one is far far better and gives you a much better feeling in terms of raw power than the old one did.
As Bash has said, I think you, and others who share your opinion, discount just how much gear will play into customization.
In addition, you couldn't have levelled with a "themed" build in D3 regardless of runes, you need to use too many spells to play properly and building a character around one skill just wouldn't work.
This is just Rose-Tinted-Glasses, you are finding fault with a system you have no experience with and want to return to that which you know (the D2 system). It's a normal reaction to change, but really, just try to accept and be open to what Blizzard have done, it really is for the best.
I am in beta, and its really a blast to play without having to farm for runes is much more engaging. The old rune system is flawed cuz it forces u to a build that u will be stuck at for awhile until u gamble or buy it from AH! But if that is a pretty rare and hot rune good luck to u. U also need to forget about d2 system, and embrace d3 new system "change" is good!. Embrace it:D