hrmmm.. both solo and party can be fun.
Solo is sometimes not fun when the server is busy - you will be gangbanged by ppl who run because they have at least 7 buddies with them and suddenly they are pwnz0r.
However.. it's a riot when you stand a fighting chance.
In the same breath, a well put together party is great too.. one of my favorite quotes "It's raining np's" ~ lumpy - he's singing this song in vent .. LOL
as far as items and levels.. that's only partially tru. If you have a crappy combo (:guilty here you can have a great char and still suck. At the same time, if you have some smarts and a good combo. you can have a crappy char and decent items, and if you pot well.. you're the pwn. If you're a rogue and ctrl minor combo thing.. you pwn too..
it comes down to personal preference..