Hello my name is Andy, and The Phantom Menace is my favourite of the prequels. I think I enjoy it more than Jedi.
Phew, I've finally said it. I genuinely feel like I've come out or something.
The things I dislike (Binks, Jake Lloyd, retconning in midi-chlorians) are overshadowed by the stuff I do like. I do like the political backdrop that led to Palpatine becoming chancellor, I do like the call back to Tattooine, qui gon's chilled, but very manipulative approach, the arrogance of the Jedi. I love the final fight. Mcdiarmids performance ("I will be chancellor.."). It's an 'origin' movie if you will, it sets the stage, it preps everything and I think it actually does it well.
Then the backlash and we seemed to get AotC done by Internet committee. Hmm what was liked in the OT. Boba Fett, check, asteroid chase sequence, check, fighting monsters in a pit, check. I intensely disliked Sith when I first saw it too. The Palpatine/Windu fight should have been epic but amounted to them waving sticks at each other, and the "platform game" final duel didn't do it for me. I wanted it to be long shots, effectively a very long version of ObiWan vs Maul. But it was edited out of all reason.
I have warmed to Sith since, focussing on a lot of the side things, but TPM is still my favourite of the prequels.
I think Lucas' biggest mistake was keeping hold of the reins himself. If he'd collaborated on the writing and handed over direction to someone else for the last two, they might have been something spectacular.
But given Crystal Skull, maybe not. I guess we'll never know.
Now, "flame on" motherfuckers! ;p