One thing I have always liked about the EU, was being able to revisit the SW galaxy. For someone as obsessed with SW as I was during my childhood and up into my teens, three movies just wasn't enough. It was great to get to revisit the SW galaxy, to read further adventures of Luke and his friends. And even more fun for me, was seeing the galaxy from other perspectives, not just "Rebel vs Empire" from the films. Another great thing about the EU, is you can take it or leave it. There is such a massive amount of it, you inevitably end up with a lot of crap getting mixed in. In fact I'd say the vast majority of it is crap, but you don't have the read the parts you don't care for.
I have to agree, it is lame when they bring characters back from the dead. I hated Dark Empire and the clone Emperors. Of course, the idea of it is perfectly reasonable, when you consider the ability to clone exists. I suppose you can say that the only thing less likely than Palpatine making clones of himself, would be Palpatine not making clones of himself. Still, as a principal, I am against reviving main villians. Takes away from having killed them in the first place, and really cheapens the story.
Boba Fett's resurrection is less irksome to me,since we never actually see him die. The guy does have a jet pack on after all, if he falls into a pit, why the hell wouldn't he try to blast his way out? He also has a blaster and spiked boots, and who knows what other tools on him. Threepio clearly explained that it is a slow death.
I actually enjoyed books like Tales of the Bounty Hunters and Tales from Mos Eisly. I know a lot of fans absolutely loathe things like this, because it takes every background character and gives them a name and a back story. To each their own, but it is actually kind of fun to read about what the four eyed fuzzy white guy and the short mouse alien were doing a few weeks before showing up in the Cantina the day Luke's aunt and uncle died. Most people say, "Why, what is the point? It is ridiculous!" well, I say, "Why not?" Personally, I'd rather read the adventures of the weird Werewolf guy and his small place in the vast universe, than constantly reread the storys of a handful of larger than life characters who are constantly saving the universe from impending doom. Honestly, most of these "tales of" stories are pretty worthless, unentertaining crap, but a few of them are enjoyable and lets you see the vast galaxy from the perspective of your average joe, as it were.
Two stories in the Tales of the Jedi that particularly stood out to me were the stories of Boba Fett and IG-88. I liked how the writer made Fett into a sort of Rorschach (now that most people here knows who that is) like character, with a strong sense of justice and who feels he has the right to bring judgment and violent death on those he finds unjust, only he does it for money, refusing to take jobs on people he finds inocent or not worthy of such a punishment, and taking great joy in eliminating the true scum of the galaxy. The first chapter describes Fett as an ugly young man, a soldier in the military, now in prison for having murdered his commanding officer, when ask if he regrets it, he replies with a very stern "no" because the guy deserved death. Makes Fett to be kind of a psychotic, but I liked that spin on his character.
The story of IG-88 was a lot of fun to. Very Terminatoresque as the books starts off with he becomming selfaware, and killing the people who were building him. He makes a lot of copies of himself, and they all work together in plotting galactic domination. A few of the copies are sent out to do bounty hunting, can't remember exactly why. Eventually in the story, IG-88 plants his conciousness into the Death Star II, and now has essentially become the DSII and is waiting for the Empire to wipe out the Rebels and get them out of the way, before he himself defeats the weakened Empire and makes his first move in conquering the galaxy. Unfortunately, against all odds the Rebels win, and ruin the poor guys plans. What a bunch of tripe! Right? Sure it is, but it is a lot of fun to read too! I certainly don't watch ROTJ thinking, "IG-88 has completely taken over the DSII's computer systems by this time" no, I don't consider any of it as a real part of the story at all, but it is very amusing, and that is what it is all about anyway.