One of the elements that drew me back to 3e was the fact that dragon once again became scary. They were not the pushovers they were in 1e and 2e. Now taking on one of them is indeed an adventure.
I still have nightmares of my buddy Sebastien-M who walked into the room with a sleeping red dragon, kicked it awake then proceeded to one-shot it using the red dragon slayer sword he found in the previous dungeon. (Thanks DragonLance). They really sucked in 1e... But they were really brought up to par in 3e+.
Even 4e dragons were no joke. They had staying power and some decent offense...
Even a white dragon is no gimme anymore.
Dragon. The name of the game! Are my favorite monsters!