There's a thread on RPG.net talking about how a friend of the OP didnt like 4th Edition because she felt that it removed decisions from the game, and that that's what D&D is all about. The OP that he felt she was wrong, stating that D&D isnt about choices so much as archetypes.
I've lauded the usage of archetypes before, and I think that they really help to strengthen the game by allowing new and veteran players make what they want to make with a minimal of fuss and/or rules-mastery. If you want to play a sword-swinging armored-guy, its right there for you and it works. Wanna cast spells? Pick your style, because we have wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and bards, now.
Sure, I've had fun with "sandbox" style creation systems in the past, but often I would just pick a few key skills and crank them up to absurd levels. This made it hard for the GM to challenge us properly since it was often way too easy for me to, say, shoot something. If the GM made it hard for me to shoot, then it fell into the range of impossible for the rest of the team to achieve any result.
With archetypes, or classes, I think its much easier to get what you want and have your asses covered in the process.
Decisions are key to making a fun game, and all versions of D&D had plenty: race, class, how you distributed your ability scores (and later ability points), skills (no matter what they were called), weapon if you used one, spells if you could cast, etc. 3rd Edition added feats, and 4th Edition has every class making a choice at every level--sometimes more than one. Its not that D&D is about choices, but that choices make a fun game and the desigjners understand this. This is one reason I didnt agree at all with the "review" for 5th Edition in which there is only one choice: the character pack you pick. I dont think for a second that they are going to start stripping away the freedom and flexibility that 4th Edition offers.