This weekend I tried out a number of things including skirmishes and the new Book 2 (Volume 1) of Lotro. The first 4 chapters are fun though its interesting to see how much they changed the lone lands. All the levels are different and there's lvl 55 orc signature mobs in the tower hills, yaiks!
Me, my wife and her sister cleared most of the way with just us and a plucky captain who came outta nowhere. Then we tried to do Retake Weathertop, a 6 man instance. I have to say it is very doable 4 man but you can't be noobs, and my wife learned a lot as a healer, and my sister-in-law learned a lot as a burglar, but boy did we get creamed. WE got to the final boss and he mulched us. He's still too hard. I recommend finding 6 people (not 4) for this instance or playing it on the new solo mode. (unless your friends are total aces, all four of them)
Secondly I tried out skirmishes. The tutorial was ok. It was wasn't too hard. And I did Bruinen fords, four levels below me. (Yes I know that's easy mode, but I was busy watching a movie too, and my little warrior soldier needs more levels.) I had some difficulty healing everyone fast enough on the last boss, but I kept them all alive and we won. I like the new mount system in the game a lot, and I think its nice to be able to do something fun solo. Skirmishes definitely don't replace dungeons as experiences but they are a nice thing to do on the side, and I cna see some of them getting quite challenging. One thing I think I discovered, though I could be wrong, is that it appears that though there's lots of similarities between skirmish camps, the rewards differ greatly between them. If you are looking for lvl 30 rewards go to Thorins Gate. If you want lvl 60 ones go to 21st hall/Lothlorien. Maybe lvl 65 ones are only in Mirkwood, who knows?