I'm still slightly obsessing on DDO. My main (a paladin) is almost level 8, and I'm really happy with how her build is performing. The other character I've put the most time into lately is Warforged Wizard, and until last night I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with him.
Warforged are kind of an oddball race. They are magical constructs that can't wear armor. Instead they start with a small natural AC bonus and can purchase low level resistance to all attacks (for example, mine currently has -2 to almost all incoming damage). They are also immune outright to several forms of attack, and can stay underwater indefinitely because they don't breath. Healing spells don't work very well on them. However arcane casters can cast repair spells that work just as well as healing works on fleshies. That makes a Warforged Wizard or Sorceror a really powerful combo, at least in theory, because you get all the DPS of a full arcane caster and can heal yourself.
My first attempt involved a pure Wizard. Unfortunately, at level one your damage spells are so weak as to be fairly useless. That left him doing most of his damage by flailing away feebly with his staff. I got guy up to level two before I decided I needed a change.
My next attempt involved taking a level of Rogue and then going Wizard at level two. The result was a character that could do almost anything. On one character I could open locks, sneak, unlock traps, and back stab on top of casting spells. And honestly, it felt a bit cheap. I also didn't really like the rogue weapon selection. I was not willing to commit enough points to Dex to qualify for dual wielding, which meant my melee DPS was always going to be mediocre.
Finally, I settled on one level of fighter followed by wizard from level 2 on. By using the free fighter combat feat to specialize in slashing weapons, I ended up with a character that can very reliably hit things with an axe or sword at low levels. I'm sure all the min-maxers on the DDO forums would be aghast at my choice, but the fighter splash did exactly what I needed it to do: it made the low level game playable for me. Plus, I got to use a giant glowing two-handed sword :-)
At first it was a lot of fun. I was doing a decent damage in melee, and had a summoned pet and charm spells (spells that make foes your allies temporarily) to break up crowds. However by level three I was starting to feel like an almost pure melee character . . . . but with with charm person. My damage spells still weren't doing enough damage to waste mana on, and apart from hypnotism (an AoE mez that lasts until broken) my other crowd control spells were pretty mediocre. At level four (wizard level three), I got access to second level spells. That opened up a new pet, a more powerful heal, and bull's strength (+4 to strength, a big melee boost), as well as a spell for opening locks. All good stuff, but not really why I rolled a wizard in the first place.
Things started to look up by level five. My damage spells were finally starting to be worth casting. However, given how much damage I could do for free just by swinging a sword, they were still situational. Really, I still needed the mana for repair spells more than anything. Again, not really what I envisioned when I thought of playing a wizard. I knew I'd get level three spells at level six (wizard level 5), so I resolved that I'd stick it out until 6 and then ditch the 'toon if he didn't really take off.
Fortunately, he did. I hit level six Monday night. My level one damage spells are maxed out now, and I finally have sufficient mana to cast them frequently while still healing, buffing, and charming (though still not enough to waste mana on maximized or empowered spells). I also got a new pet, a Hell Hound. It breaths fire (woot!), and goes into stealth when not in combat. Finally, fireball kicks butt; particularly since I have several passive abilities that boost fire damage.
My guy is finally starting to play a lot closer to what I had in mind when I first rolled him. I suppose a pure Wizard would have gotten there a level sooner. But my experience soloing as a pure wizard was so painful that it's not very likely I would have made it to five, even if I had stuck to my original build. I'm finding over and over in DDO that (A) it takes trial and error to find a build that you enjoy, and (B) builds that theoretically aren't optimal long term are more fun at low levels.