^ Distant Origin is a pretty popular episode, it seems, and I think it definitely deserves its accolades for all the reasons you mentioned.
Can I just second that OMG DINOSAURS ARE EFFING THE BEST. EVER. The makeup in this episode: love! I used to have all sorts of dinosaur toys when I was a tot, too. Actually, I still love reptiles!
I think the love of dinosaurs may be a timeless thing.