I've been playing for a couple of months, and have been messing around playing hardcore. With no in-game mechanic to enforce hardcore mode, we have a little room for creativity on how we do it.
I consider myself a casual gamer, but I've still logged a ton of hours on hardcore diablo 3, and their hardcore system leaves you with some accumulated benefits. If you die, you lose your character and anything you were wearing/carrying, but you get to keep your 'bank' chest, any merchant/craftsman upgrades and any paragon levels, but you still have to start a new character at level 1.
Armed with that knowledge, there are a couple of different ways we can go to still have a hardcore experience, at varying levels of difficulty.
100% hardcore would be deleting your character and the server when you die. I did that for a few days, but I found myself starting to take unwise risks in an attempt to push myself more quickly back to where I had been before my previous death. That became less fun for me rather rapidly.
My next idea was that when I would die, delete the server and start a new one. That way, you still have the pain of losing a ton of progress (all gear/housing/storage/exploring), you still get the on-death penalty of losing a portion of your skills, but you get to keep some of your skill progress which will make it easier for you to rebuild on a new world. This also has an added thematic flavor of it being plausible that Odin is giving you another chance to start over while still rewarding you for your work so far.
My third option would be to delete the character but reuse the server. I'd lose all map progress, but could eventually find forts and camps that I had built previously and be able to reuse those items.
Does anyone else have any different variations on hardcore that they've been tinkering with or mentally kicking around?