It's been a bad month for the genre, with Madeleine L'Engle passing away two weeks ago as well =/ However although i enjoyed "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Many Waters" i was never as into her books as much as Robert Jordan's, at least at the beginning. Yes, they did run into some serious problems after book 7 or 8, and yes there were a lot of overused and oversimplified archetypes and such, but up through at least book 6 they were a lot of fun. Back when i discovered Usenet in college rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan was one of three or four groups i kept up on reading and one of only two that i actually posted to on a regular basis. A couple hundred posts over a period of about two years. That was right around the time of books 5 and 6. I reread through the entire series in preparation for "Lord of Chaos" coming out. I believe at the time he and Mercedes Lackey were the only authors whose books I was consistently buying in hardback right after release.
Then the series started dragging on, and it seemed like less and less of interest was happening in each book and i stopped reading after "The Path of Daggers" i think. I heard that the books were getting better again for the last one or two, and thought that i might try finishing the series once the last one was out. But a little over a year ago Robert Jordan announced that he had been diagnosed with one of those weird "minor" incurable diseases you never hear about until someone you know gets it. Now he's gone with the last book only half (if even that) done. Before he died he said he was writing down notes on how he wanted it to end so if necessary someone else could finish it up, but who knows how well that will work.
But whatever happened to the series in the second half, and whatever does or doesn't happen with the last book, he provided one of my big obsessions during a fairly unique period of my life. It's sad that he's gone :(