I read the books and watched the first episode. It has the makings of a good series, the actors are all getting their roles down, not 100% awesome yet. But the magic is there, excellent casting, especially for Tyrion Lannister ( a personal deal breaker for me if they did a horrible casting job).
"boromir" as eddard is taking some getting used to (reprogram already brain!), but this guy is great at this sort of role. The only part I didn't like was the pace of the series. It seemed to jump deep into the story before the characters had enough "face time" with the audience. I hope this pace will only mean they will cover more of the details of the book series. I am looking forward to more episodes!