Well it's finally here, and it's really, really good. Best of all I seem to be able to play it without motion-sickness problems, which is a huge relief. I still get a little bit queasy when the action takes place in cramped areas with a lot of movement, but even then it's almost insignificant - certainly not enough to stop me playing. I don't know what it is about the movement of Halo that makes it different to any other FPS in that regard, but I am extremely thankful for it.
As for the game itself... it's Halo, but it's Halo polished and refined to perfection. It won't convert anyone who didn't like the first two but for those of us that do it builds and expands on what's great already and offers up plenty of new elements. At the moment I'm playing through the solo campaign mode on Heroic difficulty. I haven't touched the online stuff yet, but it's obvious from the reaction across the media and the net that online Halo 3 will be played for years. Endlessly customizable multiplayer maps added to Bungie's own added content will see to that. There's so much in there it's staggering.
My favourite thing of all though is the Theatre Mode. Evey time you play a session it records the game to the hard drive, and you can play it back from any viewpoint, edit clips and take screenshots. It's an awesome tool for revising strategies, coming up with dramatic scenes or just reliving the action. It also brilliantly shows off the artistry in the visuals.
So yes - the wait was worth it. The game completely lives up to my expectations so far, and it's justified in getting all the praise it is.