Dead Island was boring as hell and more bugged than an ant hill.
Personally I had a great time with Borderlands. I had so many friends wanting to do COOP I had to exclude people because there was only room for 4! I don't really see how Borderlands was anymore grinding than something like Dead Island or Left 4 Dead 2, you're constantly getting cool weapons and skills so you can blow stuff up even bigger, you're never sitting in the same area killing the same monsters just to level up and go to the next area, do you people even know what grinding is? I played World of Warcraft for 7 years, that was grinding. Borderlands 2 also had hilarious writing and characters, and brilliant DLCs.
The only problem with it I ever had was Gamespy acting up and the scaling got a little weird sometimes.
Dead Island was a lot less polished but it gave me more unique moments that kept me playing
BL1 was boring as hell unless you got the DLC. Zombie island of Dr Zed or whatever his fucking name is + the one that was all about the red military dudes was way more entertaining than the vanilla missions.
My issues with borderlands were:
No replayability (same missions, same enemies in the same exact spots, classes barely differed except for their one special skill).
Enemies didn't feel fun to kill (just ran at you or strafed back and forth whille shooting 10 feet away, it felt like you were shooting at statues since they never reacted except for the same single stun animation/elemental kill animations).
No unique guns (TK's Wave makes you think you're gonna get cool guns then you never get anything like that ever again, unless it's a copypaste quest reward you will ALWAYS get- guaranteed).
No difficulty (hardest difficulty was the same dumb AI that just took longer to kill and hurt more if you fucked up, and then healed to completion 5 seconds later from regen).
The game was awesome for the first playthrough when you were taking in everything fresh but even then it was pretty boring with the grind quests (which then were the only thing you did thanks to the DLC). Who wants to grind 10,000 drops per playthrough for a single mission (out of 10+ grind missions + tiers)?
It was a good game, but way too slow-paced if you were playing on your own
Looking forwards to 2