I've played 7 Wonders twice now, so that makes me an expert on the game of such unquestionable authority that my opinion should be accepted as revealed truth. Or not.
In the commentary following Matt Drake's review of 7 Wonders, there were numerous posts to the effect that the game sounds a lot like Fairy Tale, but I believe the two games are only superficially similar; Dune is not the same game as Medici just because they both have bidding.
7 Wonders works because it feels like a bigger game than it is. The German publishers used to be good at making games that punch above their weight class. 7 Wonders is from Belgium, I think, but it's a throw-back to those times. If I were to compare it to any game, I'd compare it to Dominion, since the two are comparable in length and difficulty. Unlike Dominion, though, 7 Wonders isn't ugly. The cards come in more colors than just brown, and players are not constantly looking at the same illustrations because most cards are unique. And it scarcely needs to be said that cards depicting hot chicks at a communal bath will always be more fun and memorable than -- whatever the pictures in Dominion are.
Another crucial difference between 7 Wonders and Dominion is that 7 Wonders has a better game arc. In Dominion, the same cards are available throughout the game, and players' strategies tend to be preoccupied with timing: when to stop buying the cheap cards and switch to the more powerful (but expensive) cards? When to switch from building your "engine" to collecting VPs? You're not being rewarded for combining the cards in novel or creative ways ; you're being rewarded for knowing -- from past experience with the game -- when to shift gears. In contrast, 7 Wonders brings new cards into the mix each round so that, as the game proceeds, ever more powerful and interesting combinations become possible. This creates the sense that 7 Wonders accelerates to a conclusion, and it's a key element in the illusion that makes 7 Wonders feel big. Dominion is a one-act play, but 7 Wonders has three movements and it uses them to impart the sense that something actually happened during the half hour that you spent playing it.
There was also some commentary following Matt's review suggesting that a player will occasionally be forced to draft a card that she doesn't want simply to deprive another player from getting it. This, too, is bogus. For one thing, no single card is going to be so advantageous to any player that the failure to burn a specific card is going to be a game-breaker. For another, a card may have to travel around the table for a while before the person to whom it is most valuable will have a chance at it. That means that several people will have the opportunity to burn the card. That complicates the tactical choices involved in a fascinating way: "Player A: I can burn this card and make sure Player C doesn't get it, or I can pass it to Player B, and hope she burns it." The silent brinkmanship is great fun. Further, it's important to remember that lots of drafting decisions are being made simultaneously. Player A might resent having to decide whether to burn a card that Player C clearly wants, but Player C might be concurrently making the same decision about a card that Player A wants! For all of these reasons, I don't think you're going to see Puerto Rico-style fun-murdering ("you picked the wrong role!").
7 Wonders is quick, but I claim that it's satisfying in a way that other popular games of similar duration are not. The difference is the game arc. At the same time, the "booster draft" mechanism introduces tactical choices to 7 Wonders that are not present in other, comparable games. Besides, the game looks great.
If you want to play Fairy Tale, play Fairy Tale. If you want to play Dominion, Puerto Rico, San Juan, or Race for the Galaxy, at least try 7 Wonders. I think it's more than just the flavor of the week at BGG. It's a game that will last.