Against my better judgment, I'm watching .hack//SIGN for the first time. I've never played any of the .hack games, and my only other exposure to the franchise was an abortive attempt to watch .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet when it first aired. I had to give up on Bracelet because the show seemed really insipid and man were those kids annoying as all Hell.
I skipped .hack//SIGN for all these years because everyone always said it was God awful. I've heard nothing except complaints about the pacing, Tsukasa's whiny moping (lots of comparisons to Ikari Shinji), and myriad other problems—never anything positive. To be honest, it's not so bad so far. It's a little silly, but it doesn't seem to take the game aspect of The World too seriously. Serial Experiments Lain, this isn't.
From what I've seen so far, all those complaints I've heard for all those years are greatly exaggerated. Don't take my word for it, though. I have a bizarre affection for Bee Train. And .hack//SIGN does boast a Kajiura Yuki soundtrack, so at the very least the show sounds great. As a final nail, I am weak when it come to Sadamoto Yoshiyuki superlovely character designs. It's possible my extraordinary lenience is not entirely objective.