From the poll results thus far, I'm wondering how many people have mixed up the First Age with the Third Age. Granted, a lot of people have read and enjoyed The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales, HOME, etc. But I just wonder if they are a little confused.
Granted, during the First Age was the creation of Arda, the Two Trees, and all the wonderful time in Valinor. But after that, the Age was almost non-stop war, with one elven nation after another being destroyed by Morgoth. Not a fun time! And no hobbits, no ents, no dwarves to mention (some exceptions), and (most horrible of all!) no wizards! The stories are centered on elves and a few atani (men). Yes, I imagine there are things to be keen on when "all the world is new." But I think it was new enough for me in the Third Age.
In the Third Age, not only do I find all the races I've come to know in Tolkien, but also all the characters that the LOTR is famous for. And this Age is not locked in verse or epic tales that seem very impersonal. The setting has come to life for me as the home of those characters I identify with and want to meet. It has been written so engagingly and so beautifully that I can go back to it again and again without tiring of it, always enjoying it anew. So I suppose the Third Age is like going home every time I make the trip--uh, open the books.
This is why I voted for the Third Age.