I'm like you with C&C. I own a lot of the books but never played it. It was the system that led me down the OSR rabbit hole. I really liked the players handbook but shortly thereafter found Swords and Wizardry which I liked better.
I'm new here, but I'll give it a shot.C&C offers a good mix of Old School rules and New School sensibilities. It's relatively compatible with D&D 3.x/Pathfinder, but retains the structure of AD&D. Players are locked into a class, but the options for multi-class and class-and-a-half mean that pretty much any character concept can be created. It's easier to run that 3.x, because it foregoes the necessity of feats and skills. Ability saves, in the form of the SIEGE mechanic, mean things roll along smoothly instead of players worrying about which skill to boost. As a player, I can focus on the situation/story instead of what my character sheet says I should do. Furthermore, it's compatible with AD&D and Swords & Wizardry. So I can use all my old stuff, a lot of my 3.x stuff, and the little bit of Pathfinder stuff I own.
Thank you. This is exactly the kind of response I was hoping for.