For me and others like me this is where it all started. I had read much of the 1st ed books and 2nd ed codex's a considerable time (relatively speaking) before I bought my first minis (everything the library service had in fact) and was immediatly and irrevocably hooked. It was some time later that I learned that there was a Games Workshop near where I lived. The First time actually going into the shop at the age of 11 was quite the experience, I stood for around an hour browsing (unharassed) the shelves before finally having to ask a member of staff (!) where i cud find a box of regular blood angel space marines (Ultramarines on the boxes). My £5 pocket money saw me leaving with a 6 man combat squad box which were quickly built and severley debased with far too much paint inexpertly applied.
That for me was how the hobby started and like many others I cant help but feel that theres been somthing lost in the 16 years following. The pervasive Grim-Dark has replaced the tragic glory of what came before and the play style has changed from narrative to competative. Even the building a narrative sections in the recently released 6th ed feel quite tacked on and as far as ive experienced are generally ignored.
That being said the last few years has seen a resurgence in 2nd and 1st ed fluff and stylings most directly in the 25 anniversay miniature and the 2012 games day miniature.
Those and the new Forge World Horus Heresy line (30k addict) have left me with a greater interest than ive had from GW in a considerable time and also inspired me to get a move on with my 40k Blood Angels who are being painted in the classic style and to commit fully to a Heresy era Legion army.