Just checked the dwarven fighter from the D&D free sample. It said the fighter's job is to "defend his allies." The most defensive thing he can do is mark enemies, preventing them from being as effective as possible when attacking the fighter's allies. Other than that, he (Forry fighter) can damage enemies even when he misses, heal himself, knock enemies down (apparently regardless of how many legs they have, how big they are, how nimble they are...), and damage enemies automatically (cleave).
So yes, 4.0 is a different breed. But the two characters still seem to share the same role: wear armor, wield a weapon, and get messy. I'm not asking what the 4.0 equivalent of Whirlwind attack is; I'm wondering if 3.5 fighters can be as interesting in combat, without having powers and paragon paths, as 4.0s.
Personally, I think they can be even better - especially with some imagination and creative use of feats and skills.
-Heinrich smiles. Cynthia smiles. Hermit attacks!