I really don't consider myself as a hardcore otaku, for me I'm just a simple anime fan, nothing more. My first anime are probably Mojacko (Didn't include in my list since I missed some episodes in the middle and I was still in primary school so I don't remember it much), Yu Yu Hakusho (well known as Ghost Fighter in our country), and Dragon Ball Z. During those days I still refer anime as usual cartoons and even thought Japanese songs (OP/ED) as Chinese songs. The reason I came to love anime more is really because of the anime channel Animax Asia and also probably because of the influence of the Pokemon franshise to me.
I prefer watching series online that are only a few episodes. Probably one to four-cour series at most. At first I only watch them streamed but now I became a bit more concerned about quality that's why I now download episodes via torrent. I'm not really into super long series but if ever they get to be aired on my favorite TV channel then I'll give them a try. Trying to watch and download them online is such a hassle to keep up with the series. Except of course if I get to see that series before it gets to be a super long series.
I like comedy, action, sci-fi, fantasy, slice of life, mystery genres for an anime. I don't like anime with complicated plot, heavy romance, shoujo (particularly reverse harem) and yaoi stuff. Actually, my liking for an anime really depends on its actual plot so the genres sometimes don't matter for me. I always look for something new and something that will dazzle me as the show concludes.