I started playing D&D with Oriental Adventures in '86--I can't remember what edition we had then. We didn't read the DMG if we weren't DMing--ruined too many surprises, apparently. Plus, I was a poor college student and couldn't afford my own copy at that point, and my bf at the time had the only copy for our group. He usually was just wicked and would pull stuff out of the blue, however. It made sense with the story, but you just never could predict what he was going to come up with.
I may modify the game we're playing at home and require training for the 'learned' feats. It'll make a nice little side adventure, too.
Yes, heaven forbid we have to do real math.
I remember THAC0, but it was so long between college gaming and current gaming in any kind of real manner that I forgot most of it, except for some vague recollections of big reference tables.... However, it's much easier for my kids to play with the current rules than it would have been with the old ones, and the game moves a little faster (always good with younger kids) so I don't gripe. They like moving the miniatures around more than adding the numbers on the dice to work up damage.
I have to say I like the latest version of stat blocks much better than the old ones. If they didn't have them organized that way already, I'd probably have made my own with some kind of similar style.
Do we have a D&D thread yet? If not, we should make one.