Is there any place I might could find some of the classic RPG Maker 2000 games that were released around 2000-2002?
This is the best list I know of: http://www.queenscourt.org/othergames.php
- only references 2k and 2k3 games.
Which of the makers is most popular nowadays? Is RPGM2k still being used much? If so, why are people still using if it there’s been several upgrades? And a follow up to that thought, what are the major differences between RPGM2k and 2003 and XP?
The most popular maker is RPG Maker VX. The average user base is quite young, while 2k/2k3 are still used, but more by experienced (read: older) developers. This is not an absolute rule per se, just a tendency.
As for the differences between makers, there are way more between 2k3 and XP than between XP and VX. Simply put, XP native resolution is 640x480, it supports 32 bits color with alpha blending, and there is a scripting API based on the programming language Ruby. For a more in-depth explanation, the wikipedia page is rather accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_Maker_XP
VX is very similar to XP, except for the mapping system. I'd say it has the easiest user interface in all RPG Maker engines, so this may explain why it's so popular with newbies.
So why people still use RM2k/2k3? I guess this depends. I switched to XP a while ago but I still enjoy the retro feel of the old makers, so I'd say it might be one of the various reasons. There is also a "cast" of 2k elitists that despise everything else but they're a minority.