I like to think I never hat an 'otaku phase'. For many years I've told people to not call me an otaku. Otaku is an insult. I'm an anime fan, but it doesn't run my life. I would like to think I have social skills and I function well outside of some tiny area of fandom. Which otaku do not. I don't understand why American fandom embraced the term - no, wait, yes I do - ignorance and stupidity. "Oh, otaku, that means, like, big fan, right? Yeah! We're otaku!" No, it means 'fanboy' in the more derogatory manner possible, only moreso.
Early in my anime fandom, in the late 80s, anime was harder to find and it was a smaller community. So yeah, I got more excited about getting my hands on something new. These days I have hundreds of DVDs, VHS, and LD - probably a couple dozen I haven't even watched yet. And I watch most of my anime these days off of my TiVo from Cartoon Network and TechTV. So there isn't a lot I get excited over just because I manage to see it now.