Player: Why there is a lot of great art on many of the freeservers - including multiple races!
CatHat: Almost nearly since it was launched - A great deal of Dev resources (time/money) has been spent on updated UO prototypes that haven't seen the light of day for one good reason or another. Yeah - ok - If that time had been spent on say solely programming new races or making new monster packs you'd probably see the same amount of stuff floating about.
Of course saying that is just playing the Olde' "Hinde sight being 20/20" as they say. EA/Origin knew their gameplay for UO is very unique and they only wanted to make the game better and not completely ruin it in the process.
The Dev team has spent a lot of time looking into the future for UO, where a lot of the freeshard guys have just been living well in the moment.