It's about whatever you and your community of friends decide to make it about. The scores and levels don't take anything away from the experience. They only add another aspect to it that you can choose to embrace or ignore. I chose the later but many people seem to enjoy them. Trophies and achievements bring many different positives to gaming. The only negatives seem to be from people who are at odds with some perception of what trophies are supposed to be about. It's a simple remedy though, just ignore that aspect of them. If at the end of the day you decide that no aspect of achievements appeals to you, then they are easy enough to ignore.
" Without my quest, I would have gladly left the game at the 70%" That's probably what you should have done. If you didn't enjoy getting the last %30, why bother? If you aren't compelled to get a platinum trophy for every game, then don't. Everyone plays games for different reasons, and everyone expects to get different things out of their games. The same can be said of trophies.
For me, trophies and achievements are a great way to compare your progress in a game to your friends. It's not about e-dick waving. It's just fun to be able to see what they're playing, what they have played, how far they're playing. I don't care about 'completing' a game or getting a 1000/1000 gamerscore. I'll probably never get a platinum because that's not what I'm after. I find it harder to bring myself to play a game that doesn't have achievements these days. It's not a deal-breaker, but my Wii has never been dustier. Imagine if earlier consoles had achievements. If you could pull up Nintendo's website and have a list of all the Super Nintendo games you and your friends beat way back when. A pipe dream to be sure, but in a decade, it will be pretty neat to be able to look back at all the old 360 and PS3 games you used to play (assuming Sony ever gets around to fixing their broken-ass trophy website).
Is it down? I signed up yesterda and was #866 in the queue, 16 hours later and it's #844. My Xbox live profile was #865 in the queue and that got done in about 5 minutes.
Also, there are a number of games that don't show up publicly on the PSN site. Shatter, Prototype, 龍が如く３ are among these. They will show up under your own profile when you are logged in, but no one else can see your trophies in these whether they are logged in or not. Sites like ps3trophycard.com seem to be able to grab this data somehow though because the games will show up there. So if you are just grabbing data from the public PSN page you'll be missing a number of games and trophies.