I watched the pilot when it aired and I wasn't that impressed. Being a fan of the comic, I couldn't stop myself from cringing everytime they added pointless shit to the circumstances of the plot(for instance, that BORING dialogue that opened the show about Rick and his wife's marital problems--GROAN). But the effects were fucking awesome (though Nicotero's shit always is), so I might watch the rest of the season when it hits home-video.
Oh, and what was with that intro where Rick kills a random little girl zombie? How pointless and outta context was that? The only thing I can think is the producers must have realized that for their pilot, the first twenty minutes drug like a half-severed leg of one of their day-players and they needed to throw something in there to grab peoples attention. You know--instead of just following the pace that the best selling comic set into motion... Idiots...
AND another thing--I read that the producers are going to intentionally drag out the whole Rick/Shane/Rick's Wife scenario just to create more strife and relationship drama. FUCK that shit.
I felt that most they added was good. The intro was most likely added to set the tone of the series. And i like that they have changed stuff. If i wanted to see things exactly the way they went in the comics, i will read the comics.