I've been pleasantly surprised to learn from reviews about a few features that I never saw mentioned in the lead-up to the game, such as hiring or befriending companions and having a dog. The fact that it's already pleasantly surprising me before I've even played it isn't going to make the wait any easier.
And speaking of surprising:
On the one hand, it's pretty dumb that you can put a bucket over someone's head without them reacting. On the other hand, it's nice to see that the NPCs' perception of the world seems to in fact be based significantly on their line-of-sight in the rendered world, instead of simply on dice rolls in the background.
But the best news I've heard so far about Skyrim is that dragons don't start appearing at random until a few missions into the main quest. In Oblivion I barely did the main quest at all, and instead created a bunch of side-characters to take on things like the Thieves or Mages Guild or just running around in the woods like an idiot. In that game the main quest was really easy to ignore; the only clue that you were supposed to be doing something else being the amulet in your inventory. I was worried that in Skyrim it would be impossible to ignore the whole "dragonborn" thing if dragons kept appearing where you character was, but thankfully you can opt out of that. Huzzah!
And now if you would kindly just shut up about the game until I get it, that'd be great.