They are soooooo worth the time it takes. After the first season I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next and ended up reading the entire series back-to-back. Like Critical, I find myself thinking stuff is supposed to happen this season that will not happen until next season. Particularly...
Click to see Spoiler:The Red Wedding and Joffrey finally getting what he deserves! I am starting to wonder if they will work the Red Wedding into the end of this season. It would be a very interesting place to leave off the season. It could also start a trend of ending each season with a dramatic death. However, it could be hard for them to get Rob's contingent and Arya over to The Twins that quickly. And isn't that when Arya meets up with Sandor? It seems like he is still in King's Landing. I hope they don't leave out the Arya/Sandor story line, because I like that one almost as much as Brienne/Jamie!
Also, regarding one of Critical's spoilers:
Click to see Spoiler:I wouldn't be surprised if they changed the story to give Tyrion a big scar rather than loss of nose like you suggested. It would be easier, cheaper, and keep him looking far nicer than he was described in the books. However, I do hope they keep Jamie's loss of hand. I completely agree that this event is far too important to his development as a character for them to just leave out.