I was wondering if/when someone would ask that question. Thanks!
To answer that question, I actually have to start off by answering a different one - What made me decide to leave in the first place? The short answer is Graham. KIDDING. Seriously, some of the reason was in fact a feeling that I got from the playerbase that the work of the Imms* was unappreciated. I realize that there were probably only 5 or 6 really vocal people who were the cause of those feelings, but the saying "Squeaky wheel gets the grease." was never more appropriate.
Probably a larger part was simply the feeling that, I, personally, was not contributing much. I started to feel guilty when I didn't login as my Imm char, and I didn't like feeling guilty.
*Note I said "the work of the Imms" not my own work. As I go on to say, I didn't feel like I was putting in a lot of work, so I didn't feel personally slighted as much as I felt pissed that people were taking a crap on my friends' hard work.
What made me decide to come back was, in large part, a post by NepDrok, somewhere else on this board. The general gist of the post was a description of all of the stuff that happened to CF in one year (I think it was 1997). The list was extensive...I forget everything that was in it. Basically, though, as I read the list, I was mentally checking off "Yep, I had a hand in that. Yep, my idea. Yep, helped check the game balance of that." and so on. It made me realize that I had, in fact, been contributing - more than I probably gave myself credit for (the other Imms had never complained about me, to my knowledge - it was my own guilty conscience).
Realizing that sorta got me thinking. I checked in with all of the active IMPs and hashed things out, and now I'm back!
As for my baby girl, it's great. She's almost a year old now, and cute as a button (I may be biased).