Oh most certainly yes!
Last year was my first year of participation, I had been hearing how HORRIBLE its become for the past 6 years or so...I thought I'd go anyway. I found the Burner Community to be vastly different then I expected. I also was surprised at what the burn is *REALLY* about...you cannot extrapolate what it is through stories/pictures/documentation; probably because its different for everyone.
I also found that jaded Burners are a lot like any jaded scenesters. They suffer from A) already experiencing everything useful that BM has to offer so the freakshow has become mundane; or B) they think it arbitrarily sucks now because its different then it used to be...most probably a combination of the two. People who've never been and have an interest but dont go because they hear how "bad it has become" are fooling themselves. It *IS STILL* a radical experience in a radical social sphere in a radical physical environment.
I've learned quite a bit about the history of Burning Man; I know the chronology..I know of the people, places and reasons why. The event is very different then it 'used to be' but isnt everything? The 2004 burn was very different then the 2000 burn which was very different from the 1997 burn which was 100% different from the 1996 burn. It is an evolving culture but its still a COMPLETELY valid experience.
It seems to me that you get out of Burning Man exactly what you put into Burning Man.
Its interesting, I've had two trips in my life that have really re-defined my relationship with the world. The first was living in Japan for 3 months; the second was becoming a Black Rock City Resident. Both were trips to totally foreign cultures then what I knew and accepted. Both experiences challenged everything I assumed to be true, remaking me in the process.
It sounds cliche but I dream about the playa. I cleaned a bag recently and it had playa dust in it...the smell....it froze me in my tracks for a few moments. Call me a 2nd year Zealot or call me a fool but that desert is one of the most fantastic places on earth. I yearn for it.