So, the Extended Edition came out in the US on November 5th. Has anyone else had a chance to check it out yet?
Overall I thought it was an improvement. It only added twelve minutes of footage, but I think most of the additions were positive, especially (almost all of) the Rivendell scenes. They provided some added depth and character motivation that the theatrical edition kind of glossed over.
The special features are, no surprise, extensive. I'm still making my way through the material on the first disc, which is four and a half hours long. I believe the features on the second disc add up to a similar length. Well worth the wait!