Although I also enjoy modded gameplay I'm actually quite a fan of vanilla. My normal de-facto game is Minecraft + OptiFine + Resourcepack.
Quite frankly I think Minecraft has reached a peak, for me 1.12.2 is the best version out there so far, I'm still enjoying it.
Sure it has stuff I don't really care for (Polar bears and Llama's come to mind) but it also has stuff I do care for. Husks and Strays are a welcome variation to the hostile mobs, which can really spice up gameplay for example. Even more important: there are also players who DO care for these mobs, a friend of mine can go crazy with their Llama herd / collection.
But I also enjoy how Mojang keep an eye out for customization as well. You no longer have to rely on MCEdit, Schematica or WorldEdit to copy your buildings because you can now also use structure blocks (and they even abide to in-game rules like redstone and such). You don't have to mock around with a Creative inventory because you have hotbar slots which you can even swap (9 total) and Mojang even keeps an eye out for details to make things better (think about F3-n to switch between Creative and Spectator).
And that's not even mentioning the mind blowing stuff which you can do with commands, command blocks, functions and redstone.
Then add the (toggleable & customizable) recipe book, the multi-function offhand (pick + torch (and OptiFine's dynamic light) = mining heaven) and the overall same game mechanic I grew so fond off several years ago and yah... I'm still a happy player.
You may not realize this but Mojang even added something for your enjoyment OP: the continuous ability to play older versions of the game.
Most game developers go "yah, duh!" and force you to stick with the most recent version. Most also don't bother to continue to make older stuff available for downloads (think about older game patches) because resources, effort and "get with the program already: the latest = the greatest!".
Mojang even does that part a whole lot differently.
It's easy to complain, but it might help to stop and think for a moment about all the stuff you actually got over time. Including access to older versions. It's all too easy to take all of this for granted, don't you think?