I think that kind of gets forgotten with the focus the OSR has on D&D and it's various incarnations.
Tony, I hope you don't mind me sharing your letter, but it spells things out better than I ever could:
So the band is getting back to together? I wish I had the time to join you guys.
I agree with Bry about going old school but back in the day we played a lot more than just TSR.
Some of the other games I can recall.
Traveller by Game Designers' Workshop. This was my first rpg. The books were inexpensive and small so was great for a kid around 10 to afford and read the whole thing. I was always saving up for next book. I played with my cousins often. not sure if we ever played but Paul joined out group at least a few times.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - the one with the dwarf slayer on the cover. Was this also GDW (Games Workshop lad)? I am not sure. I recall as very large group playing this at Erik's house. was fun.
Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game - I have no idea who published this (Palladium Books - the same fine folks that brought us RIFTS later on). (of course I could look it up and also look up Warhammer but I am lazy). Erik was our main DM and was great but for this game Dave was sometimes the DM and that was cool for a different perspective and tons of fun too.
Rifts (role-playing game) - had a lot of fun playing this. I never understood the rules even though I read many of the books. great classes and stuff and fun. glad I wasn't the DM because I had no idea what was going in terms of the combat. I would just roll whatever Erik told me to roll. (Dave ran this more than me BY FAR)
Star Frontiers - this was TSR. Was a great sci fi fun for a change of pace. I enjoyed more than traveller/
Stormbringer - again I don't know who published this one (Chaosium - yes, Erik is a big enough geek to know these all off hand) . I really enjoyed it probably casue I enjoyed the books a lot. for some reason I really liked the runs on armour for this game (among other things) if I recall correctly if you were hit then you rolled to see how much damage your armor absorbed . something like that. so there was always a change to get a lucky shot on a heavy armour dude and do a lot of damage if you l had light armour and got hit there was a chance to avoid getting killed. I may have this all wrong since it was a long time ago.
to a lesser extent there was also runequest, rolemaster, middle earth rpg, call of cthulhul (don't think we played this but I played with my cousins and Paul), Villains and Vigilantes.
I am sure I am missing many others and there were also a ton of board games.
Anyway - enjoy - whatever system you wind up using.
Yep, I'm glad I'll be getting the "band back together" with some old and some newer members, but the band none the less ;)