It was phenomenal.
Unlike me, he has read the book, and he felt the movie broke the stereotype and was indeed better than the book. We both agreed it seems ludicrous for it to be split into three films, but after sitting through this one, I'm glad. There was so much packed in there I'd hate for things to be cut out.
If only the actual trilogy could have been similarly split...
Anywho, if you haven't - go out soon and see it! I'm glad I didn't wait for a DVD release on this one.