@.@ Not many series nowaday are devoid of moe/harems, heck even Kite and Haseo had plenty of girls (+guy) after them not to mention the whole affection gauge/marrage event.
I'll defend SAO, may not measure up to .hack but its a different perspective of a similar setting using more modern MMO elements and tastes (action/moe/harem). But atleast you watched the series completely (well technically there is more out), many don't even watch it and judge the series for having similar aspects as .hack//. Perhaps its popularity surpassed because of the limited access (due to price/availiability) to the game series which contained so much story, not to mention SAO having more action (so got all those ".hack is boring" viewers),uptodate MMO fighting and plenty of females. Compared to .hack// which spans so much media SAO would be far easier to get into back then as only the anime and possibly some of the manga/light novels would have been scanlated.
Yeah Log Horizon doesn't have much in the way of fan service especially compared to SAO, I prefer how the series takes yet a different perspective to focus on world building and strategy. Plus the opening is catchy
You should,there aren't much in the way of episodes right now with 3 out so far. :O how could a .hack enthusiast such as yourself not have seen Liminality, did you only get (or collected all 4) the game series recently.