For those that know it well I'm a playing through as a Dwarven warrior with shield specialisation.
What I love in snad box RPGs is exploration. I love to roam aorund and see what I bump into along the way. This has been the case in every RPG I've played from WOW (which usually ended badly with me in really high level and/or hostile areas) to the elder scrolls games (notably Oblivion and Skyrim where the exploration is amazing!). DA:O scratches this itch without it being the game. I'd say the exploration isn't quite as satisfying as the elder scrolls games, but that isn't what DA is trying to do. It's a different game and I get that (sorry I will be comparing these games a lot as they are about the most similar in style for me to draw comparisons to. Sorry). What I really do like is that the main quest line isn't just a linear thing. You can go to each thing that must be done in any order and that adds a lot of illusion of choice without much effort on their part. It's really clever and it's also going to add a lot of replayability which is awesome.
This game is HARD. I'm not sure if it's becuase I'm unused to squad based combat or if I made a poor starting character choice (skills overlap heavily with the first party member you get and the lack of a dedicated healer has been really painful. This improved dramatically with the finding of a healer). The number of times I've ben stuck on encounters for a long time as whenever I open the door the entire party gets wiped by enemy casters in the first few seconds is not insignificant (I'm playing on Normal difficulty).
I have to admit that initially the cutscenes irritated me, I've since started to think of DA:O as a more tactical JRP and that's been much less of a problem (FF series, I'm looking at you here). I'm also a little disappointed by the romance options that I thought were an important part of the game. Currently none of the party are remotely interesting in that way to my character, probably my fault for playing such an intolerant pain in the arse though.
So yeah, aside from a few minor things I'm enjoying the game a lot. I'm at level 10 and have completed 1 of the main plot quests. Bring it on!