In hindsight, its amazing that EVE was as successful as an MMO for as long as it was.
In a marketplace chock full of games and universes where people could recreate the avatar of their dreams and shape their environments around them in increasingly complex ways, EVE is drab and monotonous. My Atron looks exactly like every other Atron, my Raven looks the exact same as every other Raven. Same with stations (both exterior and interior). Sure, there was differences in the station types themselves but players didn't get any say in any of it. You could really customize that character portrait though!
Later on, when Incarna started to stumble on the stage, pilots of all types loved the character creator with its almost real life facial expressions and body types and clothing styles. It was revolutionary in terms of customization and players had been starving for it. To have it followed up with a video card overheating locked captain's quarters that could NOT be customized in any manner was a vast letdown and contributed greatly, I suspect, to the Jita riots that followed. I'm not saying they would not have occurred anyway but CCP might have had some players on their side if Incarna had been better.
Regardless, in other games players get housing decorated with trophies and mementos while EVE pilots are lucky if they have their own POS which, except for the name and position of structures, looks like every other POS in the game. For the actual client, you can move things around and pick the theme colour, but third party modding is strictly prohibited (which for the record I'm not disagreeing with) while in other games modding communities thrive and are even encouraged.
Even in the most wide open and player driven theater in EVE, null sec, your options for player customization are limited to the aforementioned generic towers and upgrades on them like cyno beacons and jump bridges which shape the space but are not really player customizations, and Outposts (and let's not forget that wormhole players have less than even that).
When CCP finally launched the pilot program of ship skins through the awkward mechanic of blueprints which changed a ship to another ship with the exact same stats but different skinned model (e.g. Incurus became Allistria Incursus), the goal was to see what the player uptake was to judge if there was enough support to develop a permanent solution, the response was enthusiastic and sustained. So soon we are getting Super Kerr Induced Nanocoating which will allow wider adoption of skip skins with a greater selection and no awkward mechanics. Players may not be able to totally customize their ships' look and appearance yet, but we're getting closer, and we're excited.
The initial presentation of the future of structures in space proves promising as well, with a wider range of structures and fitting opportunities to allow deeper customization of development of space resources, so instead of just POS and outpost we would have a wider spectrum with more variation along it. This is exciting in the possibilities but still too early for any certainties in implementation.
Still, even with ship skins, the promise of corp logos on hulls, and more varied structures with customization options, there are still some things I think need to be addressed.
We need Incarna V2, we need to personalize our captain's quarters, and we need to be able to have our avatars in the same space. Make it happen CCP, I believe in you.