I was first introduced to the series when a (now distant) friend gave me the first four books at his recomendation. At first, I was reluctant. Then I read a little bit of the fourth book - and promptly jumped into The Bad Beginning.
After I was done with those four books, I obtained the remaining books (at the time - it was 2002, and the ninth book had just come out) - and I stuck with the series up until its aptly titled finale, The End.
And I loved about 99.99 percent of it. Yes, the author's "The word/phrase [INSERT WORD/PHRASE HERE] means..." catchphrase can get a little dull and, for some people, undesireable. In my case though, whatever. I was still in school, so I took any excuse I could to expand my vocabulary. So as a whole, I love it.
This is primarily because A Series of Unfortunate Events is, if this makes any sense, a very comedic Dark and Edgy story. But also because it has the right characterization for our protagonists and antagonists. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are the kind of heroes you want to cheer on, even when they are forced to make questionable decisions - and Count Olaf, by contrast, is exactly the kind of villain you love to hate.
But there's more to it than that. A trio of children, who are really smart, but have to make their way in a cruel world where the only people and things that aren't trying to harm you are themselves threatened by the world. I may not have lost my parents in a terrible fire, but I still identify with that kind of hopelessness. I think we all do.
I know not of any other books or series that Daniel Handler has written - but ironically, it is this one, written under a pseudonym, that may very well go down as his best and well-known work.
And on a final note, one of the books, somewhere, includes the dialogue "Well-read people are less likely to be evil." That isn't necessarily true - but incidentally, if you yourself are well-read and read this series, you may find delight in the large number of literary references in the series. Don't believe me? Go back to the main page, look at the "Shout-Out" entry, and click on the hyperlink entry there.