What a disappointment. The plot was chopped up as with a hacksaw, and then jumbled back together, scenes invented which didn't appear in the book, dialogue shifted from one place in the book to an entirely different setting, and the "climax" featured the elegant and dignified Anne Elliot running all over Bath like a hoyden. And though I felt like turning off the TV, I hung around to the end just to see what they'd do. I won't spoil the awful surprise for you TIVO-ers, but I will say that the ending had me completely baffled. The decision to start with Persuasion in itself was strange, seeing as it's her final - and most mature - novel.
I agree with Lilian about the long-awaited kiss, which had me nearly giggling due to the over-the-top buildup. That screen time would have been much used to build tension in the leadup to Wentworth's proposal.
I'd love to know what other fans of her books thought of the new production, but if you're an Austen novice and thinking of tuning in, do yourself a favor and rent the 1995 version instead. I do hope the upcoming adaptations are more faithful to the books they're based on. Only a fool would imagine they could improve on Austen's original dialogue.
[UPDATE]: Evidently, I'm not alone.
- ...This brings me to the film’s problematic ending. I could have tolerated this shortened film version of Persuasion better if the director and writers hadn’t contrived to show Sally Hawkins sprinting through Bath at a full clip. No proper Regency Miss would be caught dead running around town like a common fishwife, let alone be seen in public kissing a man...