ASoS wraps up a lot of stories (or introduces an acceptable "holding pattern" like in Arya or Jon's cases) because that gap was supposed to exist and was planned for from the start (originally between books 2 & 3 in the trilogy plan, then moved later when the books expanded to 4 and then 6[now 7] books). You can use that as an excuse for the bad editing and plodding story but AGoT introduces the entire world and still manages to tell a good story with an enthralling plot that moves quickly and effectively with very few wasted pages. Arya's story has just been sped up, not much change from the original plan. Sam's story would have probably just been glossed over with those same events being revealed in a few quick flashbacks. Jon's story would probably have been about the same, just taking place later. Brienne's story was mostly filler and our introduction to her could have easily been her last chapter, with few changes. Dany's story likewise could have (and probably would have) played better if most of the boring "ruling" and "teen angsting" was in flashbacks with the plot against her being one that has fomented for years suddenly arising to upset her complacency and force her to action. etc. etc. A handful of character's literally just had travelogues describing where they were going and what their motivations were. Tyrion for example accomplishes pretty much nothing, nor does pretty much anyone else in Essos. Whole chapters are dedicated to events that would have been glossed over in passing in AGoT (Cat travels to KL from Winterfell in between two chapters and it takes about a page of recounting the voyage before she moves on to the events in KL)
I still love the books, but the Martin of the last decade needs an editor willing and able to kill his babies because he has clearly lost the disciplined brevity that made him so unique in the fantasy epic milieu.