Alright, so, I'm about midway through the series. Here are some thoughts in general:
-The Russo storyline is the most compelling of the series, by far, and makes Russo and his family genuinely worthy of sympathy.
-Kevin Spacey does a great job as Frank, but Frank's story isn't very compelling, and the success of his machinations gets kinda boring after awhile: we get it, he's a really strong, smart, and powerful alpha male. Things go his way, all the time. OK.
-Some things about Frank are just really awkward (some spoilers):
1. His monologues are pretty bad; usually the worst displays writing too much to impress in the show. They're really phony when they don't work, and are always chock full of attempts at "zingers" from the writers.
2. The affair between Frank and Zoe is passionless and unnecessary. The two actors have NO on-screen chemistry, and those scenes are really painful to watch. Plus, I don't get the point: I mean, I get why Zoe might need a sugar daddy, but why does Frank need her? It makes no sense, although it shines some hypocrisy and weakness on Frank's character. Apparently this is the only aspect of the show that wasn't present in the source novel, and it's also the most random and unsatisfying plotline I've seen from the show so far.
-The actual pacing, the quality of the cinematography, the music, etc., all are really strong.
Overall, my impression of the show midway through season 1 is that House of Cards is good, but not great. It doesn't really compare favorably with other shows about "power" (Sopranos, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, and so on), but I will keep watching through the first season anyway.