Jason Netherton from Misery Index thinks so. In a provocative essay, he argues that the old days were better because:
1. The scene was incredibly tight knit and the friendships were earned.
2. The MP3 (had not yet arrived)
3. The mainstream had yet to commercialize death metal.
4. The unity.
5. No one ever expected anything from being in a death metal band.
Worth reading. For the record, I agree with him: before the genre became a means to an end unrelated to the music (money, popularity, status) it was a goal in itself — to make killer metal of this new type — and all of us got caught up in it. Now it’s another genre like any other, about where hardcore punk was when death metal got birthed.