Tanking is just that. Masochism.....not to be confused with Nachochism, which sounds like something Ratshag would call Nachos (and I almost typed 0_0).
Tanks run in, gather up all the baddies, and piss them all off enough to beat on us (kinda like the guys from Oasis). We do this over and over again, and for what reason?
I dont know what the reason is for a lot of people, but I dout because I enjoy it. I have a lot of fun tanking things (a.k.a staring at a bosses crotch for 5 plus minutes). I also enjoy being part of a group that is working towards a common goal. Everyone working in perfect synergy to get a boss down. I personally love new gear. It is one of the reasons I play (not gonna lie), but the main reason I play is that I love playing the game with friends.
Tanking is a personal choice. Some people think it is because of EGO. In some cases it may be. I have seem my fair share of egotistical everything in this game. I endure the 100 gold repair bills, getting beat on, and being blamed for things because I love to tank. You either love it or you dont. You are either good at it or you arent. It is possible to be one without the other, but easier to be one if you are the other (sorry for that Bilbo like sentence).
So, for all of you non tanks out there.....give it a try sometime. It may seem like just getting or hard skulls pounded on, but you are always in the thick of things having a great time.