Today a new "progression" server opens for Everquest, called Fippy Darkpaw. On that server you will be able to play Everquest like it was when it launched in 1999, without the expansions. The expansions will open up later, at a pace determined by the players.
I really, really wished that all the people who are constantly complaining about how World of Warcraft dumbed down MMORPGs would put their money where their mouth is, and play for a while on the Fippy Darkpaw server. Having played EQ myself a decade ago, my personal guess is that none of these people could even make it to level 50 on Fippy Darkpaw, let alone start raiding. Hell, probably even level 30 in the original EQ would be too hard for most players today. The majority of people complaining about games being too easy today don't even *know* what a really hard game looks like. I'm telling you, level up a character on Fippy Darkpaw, and then we can talk whether a hard game is really what you want.