^ That was actually an interesting time for me and I imagine for lots of others... The 5 faction leaders took a step to something that hasn't ever been done in the game' history. Looking back, they came up with some brilliant ideas that were effective then, yet much more effective today. It was a good time in terms of the sense of community for me, especially since I was looking at it from a player's POV. I'm hoping initiative steps up for something similar to be done and a unique step be taken similar to what was done back then.
In terms of experiences, I've found myself in all types of factions - competitive, passive and... really lazy *ehem*. Competition is definitely different now compared to then, I wouldn't last a day in a competitive faction who does dailies almost daily. Being in a competitive faction lasted me 2 days... filling a spot in DSX for their 99th/100th 1v1 Daily. I was in the hive for a big portion of my playing time in ED and I have them to thank for giving me a space for over a year there. Great experiences overall.
Faction jumping has never been an issue to me since my current faction mostly takes alts, people who are too lazy to even log in. Great people, I'm really happy with who I convinced to join my faction, albeit mostly alts.
I'm hoping others are fortunate enough to have similar great experiences. :)