I originally read the Inheritance Cycle when it first came out, and I liked it. Not LOVED it, but I had heard enough that I borrowed the first book from a friend. After that I thought it was at least interesting enough to pick up the second book, and after that the third and fourth. My biggest problem isn't that it rips off Star Wars, or that Eragon becomes overly powerful, or even the blatant Deus Ex Machina... It's the Purple Prose. Even when I was little this was my biggest problem with these books. There is nothing wrong with being descriptive or exploring character's thoughts, but it seems used as filler. Worse, it disrupts the pacing, by time I get through with it I just want to take a break. Its bad enough these books are long, and expanded to take up 4 books, but the amount of pages wasted on Purple Prose could have been used so much better. He could have developed Saphira's personality more, he could have had more foreshadowing for certain events, he could have let us seem a little more of the Galbatorix.
Speaking of that, I wish we had more time with Brom and Galbatorix. Brom is probably the most interesting character in these books, despite being dead for most of it. I wish he had at least stayed around till the second book so we could get some more interaction between him and some other person who knew of his past. Throughout his life he's been a Dragon Rider who looked up to Morzan, a found of the Varden, and a storyteller that secretly watched over his son. In Eldest Eragon even wishes he could have spoken with him about his adventures just once. And I agree completely! I almost wish he was the main character instead. Galbatorix is said to be this immense, threatening, powerful Rider....but we barley get to seem any evidence of this till the last book. Even a little more time exploring how he rules and his point of view would have developed him as more than the generic evil king.
I liked the books when I was younger, and even now I find certain parts to be genuinely enjoyable, but I shouldn't have to skip parts of the book to enjoy it. There is so much potential in these books, but its wasted. I don't think the Cycle deserves the hatred it gets, but it's definitely not the most amazing read. For me it falls short of So Okay It's Average, but it's not horrible either.