I think the Hans Zimmer score had a lot to do with the movie experience.
I never got the Joseph Gordon-Levitt attraction (I guess because I never saw 500 Days), but the suit did it for me. I kind of get it now.
Felt the same way about the character similarities. It was difficult not to compare them, and I admit that ruined the movie-going experience a teeny-tiny bit (though not enough to ruin Inception overall). It’s something I’m willing to forgive, as long as Leo doesn’t immediately go out and play the same character again.