I've found this book very interesting looking back over it as a whole. I have such respect for Tolstoy and his ability to write characters and social commentary. The different nuances he put into the characters and the manner in which they react to events was incredible.
The characters all seemed realistic and believable to me, with human flaws and the inability we all have to see our actions clearly while those around us might be able to see the ruin we are heading towards.
The sections about Levin's faith were well written and forced me to think about the position I hold in that regard (which will remain private...). The other conversations that grabbed me were the discussions on the relative positions of serfs and noblemen within Russia, especially as this was written at a time when this would have been a very delicate subject.
I'm not going to give this 5 stars, as I reserve that for books I want to read again and again. Having said that I am glad that I persevered with this and have generally enjoyed it (other than the occasional farming scene...)
In regard to other people's difficulty - the action in this book could be distilled into something about 1/8 the size! I've found that frustrating until I learnt to go with it.