This is very interesting, and its nice to see some people coming out in support of the prequels, which compared with other sci-fi (and action films altogether) are pretty amazing. However while I like all the films Episode I is my least favourite for various reasons.
I do however think its got one of the best, if not the best lightsaber fight sequences in the entire saga. I also really like Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon and the political intrigue surrounding Palpatine. And Darth Maul makes an epic villain and is even more epic in TCW. It could have been better done though.
My favourite prequel film, and my favourite Star Wars film, is Episode III. Its just pure none stop epicness. I love the opening space scene, that is unparrelled by any other. And I thought Grievous was a perfect, archetypal, moustache twirling villain to act as an antithesis to Sidious' and Dooku's scheming personas. And then there's Grievous vs Obi-Wan, Anakin's Fall, Order 66, Operation: Knightfall, Sidious kicking butt in his office, Yoda vs Sidious, Anakin vs Obi-Wan, the rise of Darth Vader and the Death Star! All crammed into one awesome, seamless production! I really do think Lucas pulled it out of the bag in that one.
Oh and one more thing, and this may come as a shock to many. But guess what? I like Hayden Christensen! Not just that but I rate him pretty high, all the way down to his accent, which has an alien 'Star Warsy' feel to it. He's certainly better than Mark Hamill ever was. I think he plays the role of Anakin Skywalker really well, everyone seems to present him as a whiny emo, but in less pejorative terms he is meant to be exactly that. He's a frustrated, angry, emotional youth who wants to be powerful and feels everyone around him is holding him back, And Hayden pulls that off really well, a favourite scene is when he kills the Sandpeople as says to Padme "I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I HATE THEM!" Awesomely performed. And then all the dialogue and acting on Mustafar. Really, what's not to love!
FInal point, the whole point of the prequels was to look at 'the good guys' in a different light, and present them in a different light which makes you think 'who really are the bad guys'? So in a sense there is no real 'hero figure' - however Anakin is something of a tragic hero. And Obi-Wan and Padme are pretty heroic.
People are probably raging at me right now but whatever, because guess what? I enjoyed the prequels whereas you didn't. So I can watch the entire saga with a smile on my face and you can't - sucks to be you!