I love this post, when I first got into game development as a hobbyist I too was bitten by the MMORPG bug...
After MONTHS of pouring through books about programming socket based clients and servers I finally had a server that clients could connect to and a client where players could move a little square around in my "world" and chat with each other.
After getting to this point I reassessed the amount of work it was going to take to get anywhere near my goal and it was outside the scope of my ability/time....
I think if I was still working on this project (Wow has it been 6 years already?) I might have something playable at this point.
But I am very glad that I abandoned the project... While I gained a enormous amount of knowledge in the process I think had I started a bit smaller, with easier to achieve goals, I would've had a lot more fun.
I don't think people realize the scope of the project.