Hobbitssssssss how I hatessss hobbitssssss
The hobbit will rock, it is a rollicking story that is filled with movie goodness, from the Trolls in the forest of Rhudaur (finding Sting and Glamdring) - the Goblin King, Smaug, Beorn, battles, dwarves, elves... it is a <i>winner</i>.
As for 'original story' - hell, Tolkien filled in the interval with the Necromancer of Southern Mirkwood, the fall of Saruman, the Balin's return to Moria, the battles of the Rohirrim, Aragorn and the rangers of the north, it's not as if it is a blank page. There is lots of material to base the other story on. :)
Personally, I can't wait!
Pirate - 'cos I always wanted to visit Umbar!