I played about 60 hours of Skyrim before I just got bored with it personally.
It felt repetitive, nothing I did seem to have any weight in the world whatsoever. While there was a lot to do, it quickly became a case of 'too much is just as bad as not enough'... totally lost sight of the main quest and nothing was really interesting anymore. Combat is pretty dreary, where all you do is block, power attack and then trade out smack with the other guy hoping he dies first.
The first few dragons were fun... the music start blaring, pumping you up and the dragons create some weird interaction in the world (i.e. Most npc and mob will fight it) but even that got a bit repetetive (I once got 5 dragons attack on my way to something... yes, it was a long way... but it did break the whole 'rare and special' aspect of dragons).
I find it very funny that people say Blacksmithing can ruin the game in Amalur... because it can't in Skyrim? Having full Dragonbone Armor enchanted up the waazoo and a Daedric weapon makes you a walking juggernaut. People say Amalur is easy, but with a 100 Blacksmithing and a 100 Enchantment, I have to say Skyrim was pretty damn easy too. I regret having gone that route in Skyrim and instinctively avoided blacksmithing in Amalur so far... which might have helped in making the game more fun for me.
When I found a new little cave and instead of going 'oh sweet! exploration time!' I went 'Bah... what's the point?' I knew I was done with Skyrim.
To be fair, I played as a Shield and Sword kind of guy (with a bow to tackle dragons), maybe the combat system opens up if you play as a mage or rogue type. I also played it on Xbox, so no mods.
I do not think Skyrim sucks, I enjoyed it and played over 50 hours of it... but I don't understand people who can still be hooked up to it after 100hours.
As for Amalur...
So far (20 odds hour in), I'm having a blast (than again, 20 hours in, I was in love with Skyrim too).
Combat is a lot more fun and varied. It's a lot more fluid and fast... you are not plodding around and meekly swinging a weapon around here. While the game is pretty easy overall and you can indeed get out of a lot of tight spot with bashing... you don't have to. Combat is a lot more fun and rewarding if you roll around, block, combo your ability and so forth. The fact that you don't have too, doesn't mean you shouldn't really. I guess a lot of this is going to be on how much effort and with what attitude you go into it.
I like the art still of Amalur better. Everything looks different and magical. Skyrim looks a lot like Fallout's Wasteland when you think about it, except it trade the gunmetal grey and dust brown for snowy white and rock gray... it's empty, it's barren. Amalur is vibrant.
NPC interaction is MILES better in Amalur. The fact that the screen closes in make it more personal. NPC have more range of movement. Voice acting is waaaaay better. The dialogue option is better as well; you can ask several question (usually between 4-10) to npcs and they will give you their own answer... you can ask the same question to two npc (Say, about the village they live in) and get two different answers, giving you a better overall feel for the world. Furthermore, has more stuff happens in the world, it is not uncommon to have 'talked out' npc have new dialogue option appear. Unlike Skyrim where most npc have 2 things to say and then revert to spouting about how they got an arrow in the knee.
Also, after you complete a quest, npc 'greeting' dialogue change. If you saved them will be grateful when you past by them. Or you screwed them over in a dealing, they will be harsh instead. Unlike that redcloak in Skyrim who stills dishes you for never going to the cloud district once you're a fucking jarl! It is such a tiny thing really, but having npc say 'oh, it's you!' with an happy tone or 'Not you again...' with spite and disdain when you walk past them serves as a constant reminder that you have done stuff that has affected people... whereas that redcloak was a constant reminder that nobody gave a damn about what you did and who you are. The devil they say, is in the details.
This combined with the art direction helped make Amalur a much more 'alive' place for me... despite the fact that it looks a lot more like a 'videogame world' with clearly defined zone and much less exploration out there. Amalur makes me feel like my action actually matter and the npc actually feel like 'people' instead of piece of talking scenery.
As for the story... for what it's worth, I think the idea of predetermined Fate and the song of the fea is more interesting than the Douvakin. I actually care and want to know what will happen next in Amalur... while in Skyrim, the Greybeard quest was just another dot on my minimap that I eventually never got around to. The fact that npc are feel more than cardboard cutout (Argath and Alyn may not be the most original characters, but at least they ARE character) makes me want to know what they have to say next.
In hindsight, I don't think Amalur's story is better necessarily... but it is told better. And that matters a lot.