Yes it's pretty, though I have to say the artwork is not as inspiring as most of the reviews would have you believe. It's atmospheric and has some good system elements, such as the accumulation of Shadow points, the narrative-oriented Fellowship Phase and an easy to use skill system. Encounters are also structured simply, and again lend themselves to good roleplaying opportunity.
What lets it down for me is the combat system: if you want to recreate the combat maneuvres of the films, and to revel in the memories of artful fighting scenes, then this is not the system that will make that happen. Several oddities make it very easy to be knocked out (it's too easy to hit PCs, to be fair), armour makes no difference to that dynamic as it doesn't soak endurance damage, and somehow what should be atmospheric struggles become life threatening in the face of pretty poor opposition.
The background material, gifts of valour or wisdom and many other things are excellent, but combat is bad enough that I'll be melding the TOR material with a better system. Still worth buying if you love roleplaying in Middle Earth (in TA2946...) and for the well-structured (if often a little swift to complete) adventures.
Not the uber-game I was expecting from the gushing reviews, but certainly good. I will no doubt buy all the supplements available (not least because the MERP ones are virtually impossible to get hold of now) but just can't live with the skeletal combat rules.
[3 of 5 Stars!]