Everyone has their own 'preferred' version of D&D, generally based on whatever they liked when they were twelve. What can make this difficult is when these viewpoints clash.
I was talking with my buddy Ryan, who was the initial catalyst in running a game of D&D. He's a complete tabletop RPG novice, but seems very eager to learn the whole process. On top of that, he's also the person who's in charge of gathering a group for the game. I haven't met any of these folks and didn't know if they had any previous gaming experience until last night when he asked me what edition we were running. I told him Basic, since I'm pretty sure he didn't really care about the concept of retro-clones or publishing rights.
What I got back from him was that his buddy wanted to play a Human Monk and cross-class into Psion.
I've got no animosity towards folks that play and enjoy 3.5, it's just not my bag. There's a ridiculous amount of prep involved and hundreds of pages of codified rules that can easily lead to super-not-fun arguments between player and GM. One of the reasons that I'm always looking for lighter and lighter rules sets is because of how much I hated spending countless hours prepping for super-complex games (3.5, GURPS, Shadowrun 2nd Edition, etc...)
But the more and more that I think about it, it's less about rules sets and more about players and expectations. Apparently this dude is a bit of an instigator and is willing to argue. Ryan described it as part of his charm, but it instantly raised my hackles. One of the things that I absolutely NEED in my gaming experiences is for everybody to be on the same page. We're getting together to play some elfgames and have some fun; I'm not out to screw anyone over to boost my ego or act out weird power fantasies. But by that same token, I need my players to trust my rulings and go along with what we're doing, especially if I'm house ruling and improvising as much as I plan to.
So what the hell do I do? I'm tempted to just scrap the idea of D&D all together and go with a non-D&D RPG, just to avoid the whole expectations situation. But ultimately, I am the guy who's running this thing and by the old RPGNet maxim, no gaming is better than bad gaming.