Power-Accumulation PlayMany players see their main goal as being to amass power for their character. This takes the form of game-mechanic bonuses, wealth, and political power within the game world. Winning at DnD means powering-up your character.
To a player with this approach, character death is devastating. When their PC dies, they must essentially start from scratch. It's no wonder that so many rules(conveniently listed here) have been used to prevent PC death or at least soften the blow.
In this mode of play, the player doesn't concern himself with long term in-game goals(though the PC may, of course). Instead the player's main focus is on the experience of the current session. To wander Hyperborea like Conan, or survive by the seat of his pants like Cugel, for a few short hours.
To this player, PC death is, at worst, a minor setback. A new character can be rolled-up and the fun can continue. In some cases, character death can even be the ultimate victory(as was the case with Amaruq), more worthy than collecting some arbitrary number of experience points.
In fact, it's the very fact that the game allows him to play dice with death, that this player loves about RPGs. The chance that the Rust Monster may eat his magic sword is terrifying, but that's part of the excitement of the game and even if it actually does eat his sword it's not going to ruin the player's day.