Well the way Ship described it, falling off a cliff and having to start the whole level over again really doesn't sound cool in my book. Shit like that would drive me crazy. Like I said, I'll check the game out down the road because my PS3 really hasn't seen too much RPG action this gen.
VERY true! But that's just the first hour.
Most levels don't have pitfalls that you can fall into without going out of your way to do so. Complaining about pitfalls in Demon's Souls is similar to complaining about pitfalls in a Mario game (Mario's pitfalls are actually harder).
But yea, as you keep saying; once you try it you'll see what I mean. The game's numerous checkpoints/shortcuts also ensure that you're not starting an entire level over again, just a very small portion of it (10 minutes or so). Think of it like dying in a Super Mario checkpoint, and having to fight the enemies over again in that section of the level.