So, my wife took me out of the equation and ordered up the PHB for 5th edition. It arrived over the weekend.
I've read the first seven chapters, and so far there is a lot to like.
Some initial impressions:
-There is a palpable design shift from the "Everything is Core" attitude of 4e to an "Everything is Optional" point of view. Multiclassing and feats are presented as optional rather than integral. Also, feats replace ability score improvements, so you can actually have PCs who like feats use them and players who aren't get something else instead.
-I like what they've done with the paths that classes can take. You can create a great deal of versatility within a single class instead of having to have a million classes.
-The new art style is hit or miss for me, but I'll give it this: characters have weapons that look like they could actually be physically wielded in combat. Also, armor isn't covered with vestigial buckles, spikes with spikes on the spikes, and twelve daggers strapped to each limb.
-I love the beautiful simplicity of advantage/disadvantage and its various uses.
-The attitude of "many worlds, many campaign settings" that the book espouses. They use a lot of Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance examples, but they also mention "your DM's world " a lot.
-Ability scores are capped at 20 for PCs, and the maximum possible score for anything is 30. (gods and monsters included, apparently)
-I like that task resolution is based primarily on ability scores, with skills as a modifier.
-Backgrounds are neat.
Obviously, it's a brand new release and this could turn into splatbook hell, but I'm pretty optimistic. I'd play this at a convention. I might even run it once in awhile.
One final disclaimer: I'm not to the magic spells yet. That could make or break my opinion.