The more I read of these forums, the more I wonder about the so called cliche riddled rubbish that is so much derided here. I honestly can't remember the last non-dragonlance book I read that had elves or dwarves in it (ok apart from Eragon, which isn't so much of a LotR ripoff as a Star Wars ripoff). Are books like this actually still being published, or are a lot of people here still dwelling on Terry Brooks flashbacks, and unwilling to see the current state of the fantasy market? Or am I just subconsciously ignoring all of these books in my local bookstore and only noticing the ones I'm interested in?
I also tend to resent the suggestion that anything with elves, dwarves, a quest or a group of companions must be a blatant Tolkien ripoff. If you remove quests, fantastic races and friendship I really don't think there'd be much of a novel left. I suspect that a lot of books appear to be "Tolkien Clones" simply because they are using plot elements that are going to make a novel exciting, which just happen to be ones that Tolkien put to good use a long time ago.
Sorry if I'm ranting a bit here, but the elitism I see in a lot of this forum really annoys me sometimes. I really love some of the so called cliched books out there, such as the Belgariad (quest, friend, no elves or dwarves), the Riftwar (elves, dwarves, no quest as such) and the Dragonlance books (elves, dwarves, quests AND companions, but honestly not much like LotR at all except in the most superficial sense).