I found the characters too narrowly-drawn, each firmly ensconced within his or her own little personality niche, which they never quite deviated from: not one person in this book ever does anything remotely surprising. But perhaps Rand meant them as stereotypes; if so, they function in that role perfectly well.
The dialogue between Rand's cookie-cutter-characters too often comes in the form of essays - I know very few people who speak in paragraphs, but most of the people who populate Rand's pages do. There were moments, when a character's speech entered its second or third page-long paragraph, that I was very tempted to just pretend I'd skipped a page and just keep reading. At times the overpowering black-and-whiteness of the whole book made me want to shut it up and put it back on the shelf. But no, I wanted to know how it all came out. I wanted the second-handers to get what was coming to them.
An odd book, in many ways, and I'm sure every person who reads (or rereads) it gets something very different. As for me, on this reading at least, I'm glad I read it - but I'm also glad it's over.