I think tight play will be rewarded and that loose play will tend to lose money.
If you are playing in the micro's then LAG is not going to be beneficial.
Consider this: Tight poker play means playing essentially only "good" hands, or the hands that are the most likely to win. Wherever you happen to draw that line is fine - but around ~20% we will say is "tight."
The reason these hands will win more often than not is that other players are more likely to play worse hands on average than that 20%. So we will often be beating those players when it comes time to showdown, because we are more likely to be playing a hand that will win.
That is ultimately why tight play is better, you beat people by being more selective in the hands that you play and in the hands that see showdown. For the most part people in the micro stakes play too loose and you don't need to really adjust that much.
So why then would someone need to bluff? Well a good reason to bluff is because someone you bluff will fold a better hand. That is one of the better reasons. Another reason is so that you mix up your play. If your opponent knows that you CAN be bluffing
then they are more likely to pay off your "good" hands. I think that is the best reason to bluff, so that your opponent is enticed to call when you have a hand that beats them. Though getting them to fold a better hand is nice too.
Lets apply that reasoning to the micro stakes. Is bluffing (most of the time) going to get a better hand to fold? Well if you have true garbage and you can get a mediocre hand to fold then yes. But if you play a lot of garbage you are probably losing money because people in the micro's call too often. Its one of the leaks in a lot of peoples games. They call when they should not. So are we going to entice people to call our good hands by letting them know we could be bluffing? Not really, for the most part micro players are already taking into consideration that you might be bluffing. Some people actually credit you with it too much for no reason.
So if we will not fold a better hand that much, and if we will not entice people to call our good hands more often then why should we play a LAG style? We shouldn't at those stakes.
TAG allows you to play hands that are more likely to win. It allows you to use the odds
in your favor to make money. Poker doesn't change everyday. Poker is the same. You have the same number of cards in the deck, on the field, and in your hand. While your opponents may change, you are still essentially dealing with a situation where odds are going to control a lot of your actions.
As to whether poker is harder now than it has been... I think no. I think it is easier now than it was 3-4 years ago. Fewer people grinding and playing a skillful thoughtful game. I think if you learn and play a TAG game you will have an easier time winning now than you would have not that long ago.