Ignore the new tat that they're throwing into Football Manager and Championship Manager. THIS is where it's at.
There is much to be said for keeping things simple and fun, with enough depth to allow a decent amount of in-depth control of team tactics, training, back-room staff etc. The thing I love about the series up until the sillyness of the post 03/04 season editions is that nothing random happens, nothing stupid happens. I genuinely could go on about this all day, but don't worry, I won't. For what it costs, give it a go. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.