I understand the trepidation of dying in a Souls game and the idea that it doesn't respect your time. But I have the opposite reaction, that other games don't respect my intelligence.
Demon's Souls took off because it came out in a period where the triple-A video game on consoles hit a wall. By 2009 the costs had risen so exponentially, team sizes hitting the multi-hundreds, and all the big hits of '05-'07 became annualized. Death was inconsequential, lengthy tutorials dominated the opening sections, and everything was designed with a big neon GO HERE sign because no developer could afford to create content the player wouldn't see.
Demon's Souls was a rejection of that. It's a game that holds your hand for the length of its tutorial then rips off the floaties and tosses you in the deep end. It's not a hard game in the same way as Meat Boy or even Crushing Uncharted. It's completely uncaring about mistakes. There are some unfair moments, the devs can't catch them all, but when people say "when you die it's your fault" holds true at least 90% of the time as nearly every death is a result of me getting cocky, experimenting when I shouldn't, or rushing an enemy. Sometimes you have to run away but modern design has hammered that out of us.
I do agree some of the community can be mean and impenetrable. It's difficult to criticize this game as it stands alone in what it does but it isn't helped by responding to every criticism with "git gud."