This resonates with me. My favourite modern RTSs are the Total War series (which is its completely little thing, pretty much a different genre, with no base building on the battles and a pure tactical game once you get there. I did love the MP in Shogun before the expansions threw balance out of whack) and the Wargame series (again with no base building) and despite the decent dynamic campaign of the Wargame series, the most fun I had with them was definitely the crazy 5v5 mode they implemented.
I do agree with others that MOBAs are a better competitive experience for me that scratches the same itches competitive RTSs used to scratch. A solid story driven campaign (or an interesting dynamic one, but it still needs a narrative hook, like the Wargame series) is pretty much a must for me to consider an RTS, and if it's a short one that doesn't over repeat itself, the better.