Okay, so I've had dinner and am winding down a bit. Yes, ROTK was excellent the second time (sorry Bill, I had to see it w/o you, unless you were in Dallas by some off-chance). A number of people have told me if you're really familiar with the book, or just finished (re)reading it, another viewing is essential to truly appreciate the movie. I agree.
That said, I've decided it wasn't the best of the trilogy, contrary to what many critics have said. Yeah, it completes the story arc, it made the battle at Helm's Deep look teeny, yadayadayada, but I liked the films in this order: 1, 3, 2.
I prefer Fellowship for a number of reasons: at a gut level it, or at least the extended version, felt truer to the letter and spirit of the book; much like the first Harry Potter film, it had that electric sense of new discovery, like a first kiss; I loved the imagining of the Shire and Rivendell, which you don't see so much in the other two movies. I'm probably biased since I've seen Fellowship way more frequently than the others, so maybe I'll appreciate them better in time.
PS--I hate noisy moviegoers. About a dozen teens in the back of the theater kept talking, laughing, and tromping down to the lobby. Kids today...