I played NetHack for the first time in 1997 or so. I didn't know you were supposed to eat corpses ... frustrated by me starving all the time I simply patched the source, eradicating dying through starvation.
I lost interest, but it kept haunting me. To this day I have never even been close to ascension, I'm an off-and-on player, would declare myself a newb and NetHack is basically a love/disappointment relationship of mine. I love the sandbox mentality (you can pretty much do whatever you want), but I don't like some (in my opinion) unnecessary deaths that can hardly be avoided, and the tedium is often very frustrating, like having to undress for those nymphs all the time, the search for hidden stuff (this is mostly unexciting und could be left out in my opinion).
But still, NetHack is simply a great game, I dare say one of the best of all times so far.