If anything the hype took the edge of for me due to my perhaps unfair expectations. Had i just stumbled across it i think it would of blown me away.
I liked Howard and can't think of anyone else that could of done that character so convincingly. I can see why he would annoy some people but he didn't in my mind come across as nasty, just reckless.
The big plus for me was the freshness of many of the scenes and roles. The stuff in his store really played out really well.
By contrast the Joker felt all too familiar.