To say that Minecraft is the game that I've played the most is a huge understatement - I've played it for around three to four hours per day pretty much every day for more than four and a half years with no signs of slacking off (in fact, in my last world, played earlier this year, I averaged more time per session than any other world I have stats for)... that comes up to around 5,750 hours - 240 days - of time spent playing this one game, including 121 in my first world and a combined 174 days when including several other worlds I have statistics for, plus additional worlds (on some days I spent my normal playtime working on mods but that time pretty much counts since it was spent on the game in some way). It is also pretty much the only game that I've played during that time - a remarkable testament to how addicting I find the game to be.
As far as the evolution goes, they made a big mistake in 1.7; for some reason they significantly took away from a major part of the game and still have done nothing whatsoever to let use customize it despite it being very easy to do (there is even a world type that lets you customize things that Customized cannot - but so much for people who do not want a Superflat world). Not that it has affected me that much; I am perfectly happy with playing a 4+ year old version plus my own tweaks to improve the game experience - I think that the ability to easily downgrade and mod the game are some of the most notable features of the game (most games do not let you downgrade and any mods must be purchased as limited add-ons).
I can't admit to playing the game as much as you, but I did play a similar amount of hours per day (except perhaps a lot more sometimes) for about 3-4 years, then off and on after that. It's good that others also don't see 1.7 as adding, rather removing the game's charm.