hmm maybe I am just to used to MMO's for the no pause thing to bother me.
Lol, true! I've gotten so used to not being able to pause that in games that let you pause I forget I can do it. I played through a bunch of Age of Empires Online before I found out you could pause a game; I was shocked!
As for what Xythe said, I'm totally with you, man. In WoW I always solo'd everything except for dungeons and raids for the same reason. I wanted to experience the quests at my own pace in my own order and in my own way. At least in WoW when a guildie asked to tag along I could just say "sorry" but if in D3 they can just pop into your party, that sucks.
Can you set yourself to "away" or "hidden"?