I'm just returning after a longish absence, which itself was preceded by another longish absence, so in a sense this is a new game for me. Last time around, I started over with an Elf Hunter and a Hobbit Warden, then the friend I charged about with had to quit, and I've been absent again since then. Still have those characters, but so much has changed that I'll be learning them afresh. I'm looking for some advice on what I ought to play.

I expect to play solo, almost if not all the time. I know all the classes are capable of soloing, but I don't want to miss out on a lot of content because whatever I'm playing just can't hack it alone. Also, I want something that I'll enjoy playing, not only from the standpoint of game mechanics and survivability, but for something that's fun for just wandering around, poking my nose in where it doesn't belong, seeing the sights, doing the odd heroic deed, then retiring to the pub for a drink and a bite to eat.

I used to enjoy my Elf Hunter, but I think it was in Angmar that I hit a wall with him, and it became very difficult to progress due to getting stomped all the time. Also, Elves are inherently melancholy, and I have enough ennui in RL, thanks very much. Worst of all, I just logged on, and he STILL stands as if he has a bent stick stuck up him. So I think it's hobbits for me.

Last I checked (which was quite a while ago), Wardens were supposed to be the best solo class, which is partly why I made one. But I still have some trouble getting into the spirit of the thing. A hobbit who lugs around giant spears and a shield, stabs orcs like a seasoned warrior, and lets out constant war-cries? It feels... unhobbitish. Also, I note that they've changed the class description to say it was inspired by Haldir and friends in Lorien, not Fastred of Westmarch. Finally, I'm just not sure about these gambits. I'm not all that great about remembering dozens of combo moves. Now, I do like being able to run about at high hobbit-speeds, and the swift-travel skills, and I'm open to being convinced about the rest, so I haven't ruled out Wardens -- I just need some advice on that score.

Minstrels seem appealing, but I'm not sure about how the gameplay *feels*, and that's very important to me. I've played a Minstrel to level 18, and it seemed to be mostly going *strum* on a lute and then shouting. Does it wind up feeling more minstrel-y as the game progresses? Do you ever, for instance, sing? Or play more than a quick couple of chords at the enemy? Also, is it all kiting, or when they get to you, do you stand toe-to-toe like any other melee class?

Anyway, I've probably rambled enough. In the end, I'm just looking for a fun and hobbitish way to see Middle Earth. I would be most grateful for any advice.