I've already confessed to being a Les Mis nutter -- I've sat in front, middle and back of stalls and dress circle and always loved it (the first time I saw it in 1987 I was way up in the gods) and my favourite seats when seeing Les Mis are 1st row of the Dress Circle centre-ish.
Ditto. The first time I saw it we were in the middlish to front stalls and you could see all the make up changes as the characters aged. Still loved it and my 27 year (to date) passion with it started.
But now when I go I always book middle of the first three rows of the Dress Circle. Yes, they're expensive, but heck. It's my guilty pleasure.
As for people who walked out, hated it etc, nothing is going to appeal to everyone. They are entitled to their opinion. I get a lot of stick for putting Les Miz ( yup, I'm a self confessed obsessive) way above Phantom. I loved it, especially the new version with John Owen Jones, one of my favourite Phantoms, but I wouldn't put it in the same league as Les Miz. It doesn't touch my soul like that does.
My friend thinks the opposite. We agree to disagree.