I hate dying, even on SC, because well, it means I've done something wrong and that sucks, even if the punishment is not very harsh. The punishment of death on HC is ultimate, but that is not why I play HC.
I play HC because it has two built in mechanisms that make the item hunt so much better, even with current flaws in the item system as it stands today.
1. HC Death regularly removes the best and highest tier level items from the economy which keep it check.
2. Having to restart your char from scratch give much more values to that epic low level item I found but was too high level for it to be useful when it first dropped.
Is it just me who finds these two facts the most compelling features of HC?