Assembling a character is much the same as deck building in Magic: the Gathering. Then you take your character out and throw him into combat against challenges that the DM creates. There's some story and some roleplaying thrown in there too, but mostly its about clever use of powers and strategies in battle that matters.
In one way, its not that different from some old school games. In my S&W games, the heroes have to cleverly manage spells, magic items and mundane items to solve problems and continue the adventure.
In 4e, its just so much more... flashy! Very little is mundane. That's fine I guess if you want to play superheroes. :) You just need to understand the baseline assumptions that 4e is making.
As an aside, kudos to my friend JD for his clever 3D dungeon. Very cool. I especially like how you can be on multiple levels at once. I'm gonna try something like this with my dungeon tiles (I just recently found a box of wooden blocks during my move!)
Here are some pics: