Hey, it's true that I found Buddhism very interesting. I think an other reason was that I thought it might genuinely help some people, to even just improve a bit their lives.
On a personal note, when I was younger I researched a lot of religions and I know that most religions aren't really suitable for people. Religions need to be seen in a certain light and analyzed with a certain understanding, one that doesn't reject other religions but more to see what other religions might also teach us, where they converge and what their method is.
For example if one were to start with Christianity, there would be a point where he would get frustrated at it most likely, because first Christianity is in many regards very symbolic, hard to approach and sometimes contradicting itself. But there are still some truths in it. Even very faithful Christian priests usually fall into that trap. They do understand certain aspects very well, know that it makes sense. But they don't see it in a bigger scheme.
Something that isn't too dogmatic, that allows for seeing things oneself is needed. One that includes a very big practical aspect. Otherwise followers of a religion will remain on a "devotional level" only while never gaining any true understanding of things.
So, these kind of religions actually expect that a person who gets in contact with them has the right view on things, otherwise they can't work. (Or maybe they were mostly watered-down for the masses.) To be fair, Christianity has prayers, but I don't think it (prayer) has all the qualities that are needed.
There are some things in-between which might imply how early Christianity could have looked like, things like Hermeticism for example. They're more like a middle thing, because they still expect you to have a lot of understanding of things, but still say some more practical things that aren't "too symbolic." To be fair, people weren't probably that ultra-materialistic like nowadays, so they might have had an easier time understanding things.
I was very glad when I found religions that focus more on the practical aspect and ignore the other things that are hard to grasp for people without any or much spiritual experiences. Something that almost anyone can practice if they're diligent and are having a strong will (or faith, which generates a strong will).
Again, what differentiates religions from philosophies is usually that religions have an aspect which at first requires faith. But these things, if they are true, can be experienced with experience. A religion that preaches something which can't be experienced is necessarily useless and should be abandoned.
The aspect of karma and rebirth can be very easily understood on many intellectual levels. At first maybe only in thought, and then later expanding to other things.
Anyways, I wrote that down so that it might help people who read it. People who got burned by religion before, and people who lost faith in religions. Faith is important if one starts, and then one should try to have an open-mind and experience things directly, then one knows directly what is truth and what isn't. At the end the function of religions isn't to create followers, but more so to point the people in the right direction. If a religion doesn't have this guiding principle, then it's useless and should be abandoned.