Its funny, I watched lots of people at BM and it seemed obvious to me that the people who put the most work into getting there were having the most fun. People who didnt really wanna be there or 'just tagged along' were uncomfortable and bitchy. There was a blow out with some people camping next to us because some guy's girlfriend "Didnt know it would be like this, why did you bring me here??!?!" It was a screaming yelling knock-down-drag-out fight that ended in the girlfriend leaving early and taking their only mode of transport with her. I think the guy had to hitch a ride back to civilization and was happy to do it!
I dont know who came up with this phrase, however sometimes I think I invented it, even though that is highly unlikely: You get out of Burning Man what you put into Burning Man.
Like many things at BM, this phrase is true for most things in life. I think its just a lot easier for most people to put effort into other things then Burning Man.
Sadly, I'm not going to BM this year but I plan to return soon - hopefully in 2006 (the 20th anniversary burn). However I need to start healing my body first though... Its funny, but one of my reasons (among many) to want to get more healthy is so that I can experience BM in a more complete way.