When a fighter needs to be decked out in magical items to compete, it bothers me. I think a 'guy who kills stuff with a melee weapon' should be able to eviscerate you with a spoon at high levels, with his Vorpal Sword just gravy rather than necessary for his success.

So, ToB and 4e are both good examples of what Fighters should be, to me. They have interesting and powerful abilities at their disposal, and can effectively kill enemies, protect their allies, and not die.

If you're going into the crazy demon-binding, scry-and-fry, world-shattering levels with the druid, cleric, and wizard, I think Fighters should have a similar curve. Let them leap hundreds of feet, decapitate a dozen enemies with a single strike, or shrug off super rays of death. Don't just leave them behind.