Thanks for all the comments guys,

You can't go on any fantasy forum without people talking about WoT, and I had noticed that it is generally seen in a very positive way.
Some comments I hear (even on this post) is that people have tended to have read it when they were younger and have such fond memories of it. I think that's why I never got round to reading it before because I thought somehow I had missed the boat and wouldn't enjoy it now (I'm in my 30's now) :-(

So am 5 chapters in, enjoying it so far. the prologue was very intriguing. Is there a reference for time in years, like for example how many years before the current events did the prelude occur.

Stand out characters so far have got to be Mat and the Gleeman Thom??

Anyway so far so good and a nice change of tone from Erikson (read forge of darkness before this and it is very heavy on the philosphy!!)