Haha, I felt the same way with the strategy games I played growing up. I played a different game with my family than they play in games like Supreme Commander and Starcraft online. Once the casual community is gone and all that's left is enthusiasts, there's nothing you can do to replicate it.
That's one bad thing I think the internet has done to video games. There's no searching, no trial and error, no wondering if a battle was wits or equipment. It's all optimized for you or minmaxing is the only viable strategy. If you play anything with matchmaking, you have to take it pretty seriously, read up, do stupid math, to have any consistent feeling of fairness. Takes a lot out of gaming for me.