There are many aspects of Eve Online that make it a great game. There seems to be a niche for most everyone who plays, and people gravitate to what interests them at the time. Coming from a background in MMO's and the normal approach to how content is introduced. When I started Eve I was a little miffed at the "leveling" system. While on one hand I loved it because I didn't have to be playing every waking moment to be able to advance, I didn't like it because there was no quick grind to the next level. This can be quite frustrating and Eve fails to properly present their system which they implement and the reasoning behind it. On top of which it is hard for a gamer used to the railroad approach which most games use to designate what you are aiming for. There exist raids, dungeons, level caps, epic tier loot that all goes towards playing the game and to keep you playing.
Too often this approach is applied in Eve and many players leave (or rage) because Eve's approach doesn't fit the normal mold. They struggle with the concept of never catching up to people who started playing before them, I know; I went through the same thing when I started playing. I led raids in World of Warcraft, where there are level restrictions and even player imposed restrictions to complete content. But eventually you could catch up to everyone in the raid if you were behind. This is not possible in Eve, nor does it need to be. People expect end game content for that goal to strive towards, unfortunately for them Eve does not provide end game content in that sense.
Some Eve players will scream and shout that there is end game content, you'll be told that you want to end up in null sec to truly experience Eve, others will mention wormholes, some say low sec, and there are those who think incursions are the end all be all. I've come to realize I can jettison all these concepts out the airlock. In Eve, end game content consists of solely one thing, which is what you as a player want to do. If what you want to do is ninja salvage level 4 mission runner sites, to run level 4 missions yourself, perhaps you want to lead a coalition, maybe blow up other players, be in a giant fleet fight or go at it solo. You are constantly able to evolve your "end game" content.
When I started playing, all I wanted to do was sit in an Abaddon (because it looks awesome) and run level 4 missions. My goal changed and I moved into faction warfare, then I ventured into wormholes, now I'm in low security space being a pirate. My "end game" content is constantly shifting, there are things popping up which I want to try, new ships to fly, and goals to achieve.
If you think the skill system impedes your progress, you're right to an extent. Yes, certain activities are restricted by specific skills. But most of the time after you've trained the first level, the skill only serves to enhance your capabilities. You need to focus less on the skills and think more on the activities you want to do; after which you can better work on skills. Currently the main class of ship I'm flying are frigates. While I can fly all the tech 1 frigates, I can't use most of them because I'm missing hybrids, projectiles, and rockets. But with 5-16 minutes of training depending on skill and attributes I can fit some tech 1 turrets on it and go take that frigate around the block. Who knows, maybe in the future I'll want to lead another raid group, but instead of doing the same raid boss every week like I did in World of Warcraft. I take a fleet of battleships against different corporations and alliances.
After all, content is generated by us the players, and you being a player can define "end game" however you like and then create your own content.