I've read the first book only and it took me a helluva long time to get into it and even then I think it was more looking at the words so I could turn the page and get it over with than actually taking in what I was reading. The books just never did it for me.
The films though. Wow. Peter Jackson was one of my favourite directors before LOTR and I think he's just proved why with the films. I liked the second better than the first. Thought the first was a bit slow in places (10 minutes for Sean Bean to die?? I mean please, just DIE), but this one didn't feel slow at all.
I love Aragorn/Viggo Mortensen. I can fully see why Arwen would go for him Legolas though - I was convinced he was a girl in the first movie for a while. And he has VERY girly legs. More girly than my own possibly. Going back to Viggo for a second, several scenes in this made me think he'd be a good Sirius Black...
I can't comment on how it compares to the books though. I can however see that if you like the books you'll probably hate the film - I cannot stand the HP movies. Utter butchery (they just reinforce the idea of the books/series as a kids only lame thing, which they're not).
Also enjoyed playing spot the Shortland Street actor again!