Damn, if you hate Snake Eater's gameplay I have no idea how you're going to play the other ones... To be honest though when taken into consideration of when these games came out, they were the best stealth games you could get at the time. I'm just glad that in 4 they modernized it and it looks like 5 is going to be even better.
By time MGS 3 was out the first 2 Splinter Cell games were out and they handled stealth so much better. Also Tenchu was out before MGS and that also handled stealth better. Hopefully MGS 5 will be better but I have never felt that the MGS series were good stealth games and most people seem to only play for the story.