Count me among the purists who lost a lot of interest in the series after the gameplay switch. It's the same sensation I feel when I pick up one of the newer Rainbow Six titles. Both are in my top 3 franchises, but the newer games have moved away from the things that made me love them.
They are still good games though, so I'll get to it eventually, just not on release day.
My favorite was definitely RE2. Speaking of which, I would kill for a compilation release of the first three games, done in the gamecube remake style.