I mean, I've seen my fair share of ender dragons defeating the purpose of MineCraft because I don't think anyone wanted a specific end to the game, but one aspect of MineCraft I was really fond of was the concept of being alone. Just you...alone. But now there's villagers, and you can even interact with them now in 1.3 with the emerald trading system. I know people get annoyed by the "Omg! Updates are bad! Repetition is good! Difference is sin!" thing, but the villagers are starting to push it a little for me.
I think what was a better shot at making you feel less lonely was probably when Notch made it so mobs don't despawn so quickly and very often are they sticking with you, and wolves/ocelots were a great addition to. I prefer my animal friends over my villager friends.
Edit: Okay, don't mind this post, I'm an idiot. It took me this long to learn you can disable spawning villages. Can someone enlighten me on how before this gets locked?
If you are outside a plains or a desert biome you will never really find any villages.
And Minecraft never had any purpose. There were not many rules for what they add and what not. They just work on what they feel like, and what the community wants to have added. So the feel and style of Minecraft can change a lot with every update. At the beginning it was more of a sandbox with a simple landscape, and now it's a survival rpg with a more realistic landscape.
If Minecraft was about being alone, why is there multiplayer?
Multiplayer is a game element, not the focus of the game.
I like the feeling of being alone in singleplayer, So I choose to avoid or tear down the villages I come across. (I like the other structures)
But I agree with most people here, if you don't like them, turn off the option or avoid them.
I guess we need another new option where we can turn only villages and their inhabitants off while keeping all other structures.
It would nice to have an option/slider for each thing. Probably put it under a new menu in the world generation titled structures. That way I could have LESS mineshafts because I cannot go mining and not find a mineshaft. =/
Unrelated note, your avatar makes me want to play Terraria again.
I somewhat feel the same way. I mean, villages are kinda cool, the villagers add another element to interact with ... BUT, I really liked the aesthetic of being alone, in a new land, never even knowing what was the true story behind it. Were you a survivor of a previous civilization? The first person to exist? A voyager from another land? It could be anything.
Turning structures off is an option, of course. But I'd really prefer some finer detail than all-or-nothing. For example, being able to have strongholds, dungeons, nether fortresses, and desert/jungle temples on without villages or mineshafts would be ideal.