Started it up again recently and immediately unlocked the Magdaline character. I played through as Magdaline and did much better than I had previously. The play control is the same, but Magdaline starts with a Heart item that allows you to recover one heart every so often. After a bit the play control seemed to gel more and I did much better. Still lost but I went further in the dungeon and it didn't seem like a complete annihlation.
That or I am just getting used to roguelikes. Plan on playing this more in the up coming days as we all wait for the Diablo 3 launch.
What are you playing until Diablo 3 drops May 15th?