I just finished watching Dalek. I would say the quality is definately improving. Somehow, I'm not too attached to the Doctor, though.I suppose that even though I've never seen it before, I still managed to have my own preconception of how he'd behave. Maybe I was expecting someone not so chaotic. Is that the right word? It will be interesting to see how other incarnations of him will be.
I was in your shoes too, coming in as a total newbie when I first watched Rose. For the longest time, I could not puzzle out who or what The Doctor is. Is he a do-gooder or someone more like Loki? Human or Alien? What drives him? Why does he do the things he do?
It took me till the beginning of the David Tennant era before I can truly say I have an inkling of what kind of person The Doctor is.