from a lot of posts ppl who have tried and played Torchlight 2 say the color palette is way too much to be taken even remotely seriously.
I still free all the captives in the Road to Alcarnus, I don't break every barrel anymore but I do break all the breakables in Act 3 crater and tower. I do agree, I miss the anticipate of what might be behind a closed door but I'm still having fun. Now it's more the anticipation of getting a good drop.
Barb and Monk are certainly a different feel, you could even go as far as melee wizard w/Spectral Blades if you want less of a kiting or ranged character. (and quite enjoyable, you have more of a feeling and connection when you mash something. Barb more so due to the higher physics)
...hopefully the expansion will introduce more than the predicted 2 additional classes.