Among people who are not currently playing WoW, it is taken as an absolute given that Blizzard's game is devoid of all difficulty. Having arrived at EQ2's endgame in time to actually run some recent dungeons (I did hit some at level 80, but that was a mere month or two before the end of an expansion cycle when the content was no longer challenging), how does that perception actually measure up?
Before you walk in the door....
Even before the advent of WoW's much touted dungeon-finder, the game actually had a decent LFG system. As nearly as I can tell, no one uses EQ2's LFG UI, so it's off to the public channels to listen to trolls joking about domestic violence (yes, I've seen this go on for 20 minutes at a time) if you want to find a PUG. Moreover, EQ2 dungeons take significantly more time to clear than WoW dungeons, partially because they're actually longer but more often because trash mobs that don't appear to actually be threatening to kill anyone have enough HP to stand there non-threateningly for a few minutes each.
The ironic result is that I spend far more time grouping in WoW than EQ2, because I almost always have the hour it takes to run a heroic dungeon, and I relatively rarely have the 3 hours to find a group and complete an EQ2 dungeon run.
Sources of difficulty
WoW and EQ2 are in an unfortunate footrace for whose itemization is more screwed up by hyperinflation. In WoW, the result is that 12 of the 16 dungeons in the random heroic dungeon finder are generally pretty trivial during these final months of the expansion cycle, as average DPS has literally doubled during the year and a half since this content was challenging. If you compare the newer dungeons in Wrath to the new endgame in EQ2, though, the difficulty feels relatively comparable. (Random WoW dungeon runners don't necessarily appreciate this challenge, and it's entirely common to have one or more players drop group and take a 30 minute deserter buff when they discover what dungeon they've been placed in.)
If anything, I've been pretty surprised at the portion of EQ2 dungeon fights that are reduced to a simple tank-and-spank DPS check. In WoW, even the 5-man dungeon fights are relatively heavily scripted, if you're not so overgeared that you can ignore the failure conditions and burn through the mobs anyway. My experience has generally been that, if you're wiping, it's far more likely to be because someone isn't switching targets or moving out of the fire or stopping DPS, or whatever the other conditions of that fight happen to be than because your group simply lacks the firepower to be capable of defeating the boss.
Now, in some ways, "you need to be doing more damage" is more of a fair reason to punish the party with a wipe than "you didn't figure out the latest gimmick fast enough". There is a skill factor involved in getting the most out of your character, and I can honestly say that I'm learning more about the correct order to use abilities so that the cooldowns will be ready faster. On the other hand, there have been a number of fights that have left me feeling like I've been beating away at a target dummy for five minutes, which doesn't feel especially challenging even if it does take 2-3 tries to come up with the right DPS rotation.
A rejection of the PUG?
WoW's old world dungeons feel similar to what I see in modern EQ2 dungeons, especially in terms of amount of trash. It takes a pretty darned long time to solo a level 20 dungeon at level 80, one-shotting all the mobs, for the achievements, much less clearing it on level.
Since then, however, Blizzard deliberately cut the no-wipe clear time for its single group dungeons to about an hour in the game's first expansion, and cut it again to the 30 minute mark in the current expansion. The news from the Cataclysm beta is that those old world dungeons are being chopped up into similar bite-sized, dungeon-findable chunks. Turbine tells Massively that LOTRO's lengthy old dungeons will also be divided into short-sesssion clearable wings. This shift is absolutely crucial to being able to run dungeons quickly and repeatedly, which in turn is necessary to being able to find groups efficiently and in a timely fashion.
At the end of the day, I'm left wondering whether EQ2 dungeon PUG's are non-fun because they're not supposed to be. Lyriana's last name is "Lockbreaker" because her disarm trap skill is atrociously low, and she's constantly doing large amounts of damage to our guild by accidentally detonating chest traps. That kind of in-joke isn't possible in the faster paced WoW heroic dungeon setting, and in any case isn't meaningful to people who haven't taken large amounts of trap damage repeatedly over the past year. When you're running with people who you actually know, you can be entertained by the company rather than the content. The EQ2 content feels relatively well suited to that purpose.
If this is the case, though, SOE may be doing themselves a disservice by moving the game more and more towards the WoW model of daily dungeon quests rewarding tokens towards high quality gear as a carrot to get players running the content on a daily basis. Right now, everything else about the way the endgame is set up (at least on my server) appears to be working against a thriving PUG dungeon scene.