his is also one of the main reasons why most people that saw the original trilogy feel that the new Star Wars movies are so hideously bad
No, it's because the new Star Wars movies are so hideously bad. I enjoyed the first trilogy when I was a kid, but watching them as an adult I see a lot of bad acting, poor transitions, and holes (particularly in the first movie). I had relatively low expectations before Phantom Menace came out and I was still blown away at how abysmally bad it was. I saw Attack of the Clones only because my wife and friends wanted to see it. I don't know if I'll bother with the next one.
I think the only thing that really annoyed me was the whole Zion scene and Morpheus' crud awful speech.
Same. The movie certainly wasn't as exceptional as the first, but it's doubtful that they could have met that challenge -- as you say, the "wtf?" reaction when Neo "awakens" is hard to reproduce. On the other hand, it left a great amount to be desired. I'm hoping that Revolutions will tie up the plot threads and explain much of Reloaded... I suspect Reloaded is much more of a transitional piece than anything else, and while it may wind up being the weakest of the three it'll be necessary in order to fully enjoy the last installment (much in the same way that Back to the Future II is weak, but greatly enhances the third movie).
Of course, it might just suck and we'll end up with one good movie followed by two bad sequels. Like that's never happened before.