Wow, I loved this game. I didn't expect to; my expectation going in to it was that it would be overly complicated and simulation-y. But it is neither. Sure, it's got complication, but all the complication seems to be DOING something; it's not just there for bragging rights.
It's three hours long, so it probably won't ever be a top game for me simply because I would so rarely be able to play it. However, of all the multi-player long games I know of (Twilight Imperium, Game of Thrones, etc.), this one is the best. I really, really, enjoy this game, even though my brain hurts and it frustrates me no end.
It reminds me a lot of Race for the Galaxy, except without the "race" feel. I think I like it better than Race, even though in my first game I forgot that you took poverty for every card in your hand at the end...lost 21 points!
Only played half of a game, so can't really rate it. However, first impression was not favorable, maybe a 5 or a 6. It just seemed too much like Risk with some extra economic stuff and the tower replacing the dice. However, I want to play it again, to confirm or refute my initial assessment.
I've decided I like it more than Dominion, but in a different way. Dominion is faster, and more analytical; the goal is simple. Thunderstone plays out in stages and thus feels deeper, even though it might not be. I've already purchased three expansions and counting.
Rating after only one play. I think the rating will go up if I could play it more often; the first game was mostly figuring out what I was doing. I like the dice mechanic for action selection, and the ability to buy other people's dice. It's like Yspahan on crack. It feels less dry than Caylus, but I think Carson City is probably a better fit for me.