Skeleton Tower was the first *set* that I acquired of the Castle 2007-2009 line, after a few of the army-builders, and was the set that sold me--convincing me that Castle was not just back, it was golden again. I had previously been pleased with the return of normal swords, normal helms, nice heraldry, etc, after the KK2 years, but I wasn't convinced that this was an awesome line of sets until I got Skeleton Tower.
I was a bit trepidatious at first, because--like Aliencat--I didn't think it was as big as it was, from the outside, and thought it was a bit over-priced. I don't think I was the only one--of the 2007 released Castle sets, Skeleton Tower was consistently the last one in stock in any Alberta TRU, that I saw. However, I wanted a biggish new Castle set, and since I wasn't sold on the line I wasn't quite willing to make the jump to King's Castle Siege, and in any case the princess looked hot, and I wanted her, the sorcerer, and one of those cool silver-themed bardings (the gold-themed ones with the Joust are nice, but not as nice as the silver). So I bought it.
A very pleasant surprise indeed. Count Blacktron is quite right about the skull being quite possibly Lego's best effort in the skull-department (a department they have explored alarmingly often, if you think about it--skulls?), and the whole tower has a lot more bricks than I was expecting, and is actually a quite cool model. Not only that, but I was also really surprised at how cool the dragon was. I'm a big fan of the Viking dragons, and from the pictures I thought this dragon was much too cartoonish, and Duplo-esque. Well, I changed my mind on that one, and am at least as fond of these new dragons as the old Dragon Master ones, and possibly not far off the Vikings'.
So, all in all, an excellent set--I still have the main model built, which is not something all my sets--especially the new ones--can claim. I'm not sure I'd want a second--though it's got a lot of nice brick--due to not wanting to duplicate the sorcerer and princess, and because a second dragon would be superfluous--but I'm quite glad I have at least one.
Design (contextual): 10/10
Design (universal): 9/10
Overall Score: 9.25/10 (A+--I don't even know if I've given one of those out yet)