This game is certainly not flawless. Especially when it comes to combat - there's just too much of it, and having to clear your way through crowds of monsters in every location is a very tedious task. If you play on easy mode, it's simply boring, but crank it up to nightmare difficulty, and soon you'll be hating all of your party members and yourself. The combat system is not bad in itself though, with different classes and specialties, and learning to build your charcater properly is certainly a nice part of the experience with this game. Some spells, like Cone of Cold, are ridiculously overpowered and work on almost everything including the Big Bosses, but this was fixed in the sequel.
But the best thing in Dragon age are its plot and its characters. Even those who do not play a major part in the story are quite memorable, like Wade and Herren, and "the queen of Antiva" near the lake Calenhad. The setting has a magical, yet very realistic feel to it, and a dark fantasy atmosphere is a part of the game's charm. There's plenty of small details that make Thedas believable - for example, such expressions as "Andraste's holy knickers!" and so on. The use of different accents is also a very nice touch. Basically, it's very hard not to fall in love with Thedas, it's mythology and its inhabitants. Each of eight (or nine with DLC) recruitable NPC has his own unique personalty, his backstory for you to uncover and a sidequest. Did I also mention that your behavior has consequences? Be nice to someone, and they'll be your friends (or even lovers). Be a jerk, and they'll leave forever, or simply betray you.
This game is full of tropes to the brim, but Tropes Are Not Bad
. The developers sure had a field day playing with tropes, and the result is a very entertaining game, with a nice gameplay and high replayability (with six possible orgins and sidequests that are easy to miss during your first playthrough). It's really, really good, memorable, and well worth the money.