My problem with non-linear games like the MM series is that my style of play (go everywhere, do everything, kill anything that objects both initially and whenever they return) takes time. I start out with a mental plan of what order I want to do things in, but I often don't have enough "connected" time to complete it before I have to break off for a spell. And I forget where I am.
I seldom complete a game in under 9 months game time. My characters have reached just under level 60, I've finished all the promo and council quests, I'm half-way through clearing Dragonsand, and it's early February of the second game year. I've got the "non-placed" Igraine and Guinevere, but still haven't found the "non-placed" Morgan. I shall continue to Mephisto the dragon cadaver in front of me . . .