It is not that I thought Settlers would be bad, but I did not know just how fun it would be until I played it.
I would say that it is like a combination of Risk and Bonanza (the bean game).
It is like Risk because you are essentially working on a map in close proximity to others that are trying to accomplish a goal that only one of you can achieve.
It is like Bonanza in the fact that a lot of your success comes down to how well you can adapt to a commodities market. You are able to trade and make deals with other players in exchange for favors (like telling them where to put the robber) or other resources.
This game is definitely intense, but also a game that is loads of fun. It will go into game hall of fames just like other strategy games like Risk and Axis and Allies.
If you get a chance, go get the game and play it with some friends (or if you know me, I will play it with you:-) . You will thank me for the advice after you play it.
P.S. My brother, Tim Pearson, pointed out that there is an Online version of Settlers that can be found at http://games.asobrain.com/. So if you want to learn the game before you purchase it, you can do so online now.