The best science-fiction film ever made, IMO. I haven't seen in for close to a decade now, so your comments are likely to make me pull out my DVD and view it again. I can't tell you the number of times I read Clarke's novelization, probably more times than I've seen the movie.
Yeah, it does have a magic of its own, totally different from sci-fi movies today.
I would add that the novel and the movie each have their own distinct flavors despite how closely they are connected.