Fortunately, we here at WoW Insider keep all of our old archives online, and as you can see, most people did actually enjoy the old Xroads and SS/TM world PvP -- I have fond memories of fighting in Ashenvale as well. But Chilton isn't wrong that there was complaining (isn't there always?): it was usually just complaining that those were the only places any real PvP happened. Nowadays, we've got BGs and Arenas, and actual rewards for world PvP, but it's still a little hard to come across one of those all-out battles that used to rage in Xroads or south of Tarren Mill. Most of the time, the only reason those battles were going on was because, well, what else did you do besides raiding at 70? Now that there's more choices, no level 70 would waste their time fighting lowbies in SS -- there are much more epic rewards doing dailies or fighting in the Arenas.
There's no question that nostalgia definitely makes things better, but Chilton is wrong to dismiss any wishes for SS/TM-esque world PvP as simple nostalgia. Blizzard has a tough line to walk here -- they're being asked to encourage, by careful planning, something that always happened spontaneously in the past (and mostly because PvPers didn't have much else to do). It's not nostalgic to think that it was fun (it was fun), but nowadays we've got choices that are fun and give epic rewards, so old world PvP just doesn't compare for most players.