It didn't suck. But I have to say that the real highlight for the whole experience was getting to see the preview for the Speed Racer movie that's coming out in May. *laughter*
The Golden Compass was very pretty. The scenes and the people and the voice actors for the daemons were all pretty much spot on to what I thought the characters should be. I really enjoyed the daemons. The simplifications of the whole plot were absolutely astonishing, too. It took away a lot of the richness and complexity and depth of the story, but I think they had to for the format. Still... I think that's what made it less memorable and more like a shorthand, prettied up version of the books.
Which, I'll also have to say, the Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies also made me feel like, in some sense. Beautiful visual representations of what had been going on in my head, and somehow it all always fell short of the depth and complexity of character I expected from the characters themselves. The gorgeous scenery and props and action representation and all that were cool, but with the character-driven plots cut so to simplicity the characters, by necessity, become simplified as well.
Ah well. It may just be a weakness of the medium. But... there are movies where character is represented so thoroughly and so well, that I don't think that that is just the culprit, but it may be in the comparison of text to movies.