Originally Posted by azarhal
Progression continue all the way to level 80. It's called traits and skill points. Traits allow you to customize your stats and some skills (reduce cooldown, larger aoe, etc). They also give you "perks". Better stats = skills more effective. Skill points are for skill utilities. Some of which can be life savers, when used properly, and some build, like the Necromancer minions master, rely on it.
As for getting everything at the same time. In GW1, you spend most of the game at max level, getting max level armor and weapons is easy as well. This have a benefit, which is that you don't have to spend lots of time in the game to have access to the content, but it doesn't mean you will be able to complete the content because of that. There is a lot of emphasize is getting better at the game, as opposed to hide incompetence behind game mechanics in Guild Wars.
As for defence skills not being exiting. How exactly? Compared to GW1, it is a major improvements. Although, the game is quite a bit twitchy. I can understand that some people don't like that.