I reread the Disaster of the Gladden Fields and I'm coming down on the side of Isildur being a hero, just. The deciding factor for me is that, when the crunch comes and the only way to survive is to use the Ring to command the orcs, he realizes his own folly and refuses to use it, even though this means the deaths of his people, including his own kin.
On the point of the Ring being evil there is mention that the Ring was calling out to all of Saurons forces and this explains the ferocity and recklessness of the orcs attacks (losing 5-1 in exchanges), but this was not known at the time and was pieced together after the event, implying until then the Wise were not certain of its powers or effects with Sauron gone.
Does that mean I was on the money?! You know, I think it does!
...but this [i:2xt3wxi5]Disaster of the Gladden Fields[/i:2xt3wxi5].....? Unfinished Tales? Wherever did you find that?
It would seem so Odo. But be careful lest you become a Wise Odo!
Fat chance! I don't even like him! Pompous prat, that he is. One day I might even go on his stupid thread and tell him so!
[i:3o69ccrk]Unfinished Tales[/i:3o69ccrk] is an anthology of Tolkien' shorter writings on Middle-earth (and Numenor), spanning all three of the early Ages, and it gives a LOT of information as well as telling some pretty good stories (spanning from an abortive re-write of The Fall of Gondolin to an account of the Battles of the Fords of Isen and more).