I think you're missing the point. Character customizability is a nice feature. But it's just a flavor thing, an embellishment. And for an action oriented RPG it's not really something that affects the core gameplay that much. Typically for most gamers; the actual gameplay or combat mechanics is what's important.
It's a lot like buying a book and then instead of analyzing and criticizing the story; you start bemoaning problems that you perceive with the cover art or the author's prologue.
Yeah I agree with what you say. A lot more can be said about the obvious flaws with skyrim; and it's really bizarre how the scale is used as an excuse by many reviewers to totally ignore the gameplay problems.
Unless you are a very specific kind of roleplayer that enjoys meta-game aspects and make belief; you be left wondering what all the deal about this game was about, and get bored early on at around level 20-25 or even earlier if you manage to see all the "good spots". A lot of people bring up the argument of "being able to do whatever you want". Unless you are a roleplayer/LARPer you will never see this and be disappointed.
Skyrim really does fail as a game in most traditional RPG and action oriented gameplay aspects. I think GoTY has totally lost any value, kinda like academy awards for movies. There were definitely a lot of really good games with good gameplay in 2011.
Although perhaps with the creation kit; it a couple of months there will be a ton of mods that salvage the gameplay and RPG aspects; hard to say really.
Character customization doesn't affect the core gameplay and it's something the majority of gamers don't really care too much about. It makes more sense to discuss problems with the combat in this game rather than something that you spend 1% of the actual game doing.
I would suggest doing some of the daedric quests; especially the misty grove one. Finish the elder scrolls questline and the mage guild quests. Honestly though this is a problem generic to Bethesda's game design. They really shine at making a very beautiful world which you *can* potentially roleplay in; and the games are populated with hundreds of npc's that sort of interact with each other. Core game mechanics though; bethesda seems to fall flat. That's why if you're a normal gamer that really isn't into roleplaying and related mods; you'll get fed up of the game rather quickly. If you do choose to optimize your character even a bit, you'll get bored even sooner. Once the initial charm of exploring some of the locations wears off, there really isn't anything to pull you in *IF* you aren't a LARPer type gamer. Skyrim hasn't really got the addictive combat/loot aspect of RPGs down at all, and the narratives aren't that strong compared to most other RPGs.
It's basically just a sandbox world where you have to make your own fun. Fairly odd way to make a video game imo.
IT crowd is somewhat better both as a comedy and something that real "nerds" will enjoy. People in grad school are NOTHING like how BBT depicts them. BBT is a hodgepodge of what the ignorant mainstream think physicists/engineers are like; which is almost always wrong. Also it's basically a family drama/friends type show with occasional (un)funny moments. The laugh track is almost always stupid since they laugh at anything : "hey guys i got windows 7" - audience bursts out in spasticated laughter, some undergoing epileptic fits and others suffering spinal cord injuries from the sheer hilarity of this statement.
BBT is also an example of why mainstream american TV in general fails; and that quantity=/=quality.