I think you described it perfectly.No decades are perfect, but it seemed like a simpler time. Of course I probably think that because I was a kid at the time. The 2000s were basically the leftovers of the 90s, and it wasn’t bad. Sure, the radiCOOL Xtreme bullshit wasn’t gone and in fact got even more intense, but I kind of like that stuff in that sort of ironic sense. I might be biased though, as I was a wee lad/lass back in those days and what I remember the most were the visual styles of what I mentioned before and childhood innocence that I often wish I can return to instead of being my jaded modern self. Seeing as I grew up then nostalgia bias is there, but as we all know, nostalgia is never honest. You had 9/11 and the various government attempts to control and restrict the public that followed soon after, the Second Iraq War that saw people sent to destabilize a nation based on a lie while sacrificing various soldiers that should have been fighting elsewhere, and so on. Do I miss it? Yeah, I do. Was it as good as I remember? Hell no.
Mostly what I want back are the dark, gritty, and edgy visuals popular at the time and that childhood innocence, but I can’t really have both because they sort of go against each other. I’ll take the dark and gritty visual flair that everything had if I had to I l one, though since it’s one of those visual styles I’ve always liked thanks to growing up with them. Even if I didn’t, it’s so much more interesting than the lifeless and sterile minimalist crap and overly pastel bullshit that’s popular today.
This is excluding memories of family, of course. We all have great memories of family from when we were kids that aren’t specific to any decade, so it’s obvious that that should come with it all.
For whatever reason even the "good times" back then felt better than the good times we may have now with friends or whatever. I think secretly we all just want to go back to being a child/teen again without much to worry about.