I would absolutely agree with the original post in its entirety -- except that I've found some fantastic food there. The Eagle is one of those restaurants I'll be visiting every year.
I just finalized plans to be back in London and West Sussex in March. I really could live there quite happily.
Les, I'm looking forward to taking your advice. I expect to finally make it to Ireland in the next year or two. My travel schedule is packed for 2006.