I love WW, and like you said as long as your not obsessing with tresure chests and those silly figurines the game is GOLD. I agree with the story part, I'd like to add that playing on new game + is best (with the blue crawfish outfit). That way you get to read all the hyrulian text bubbles that you missed the first time.
Totally. I have 3 memory cards, one of which has 3 blank save files, copies of having saved after finishing the game, thus showing the Triforce sign, and make you keep the Deluxe Picto Box, Link's PJ's, Aryll's pirate dress, and yeah the Hylian text translated is awesome. So every time I play I can start a new "extra" file. I'm pretty sure I have all the figurines in this save file, so I don't have to go back to one of my other files to see it, I can see them all again in the new files ^__^
One of the many great things about TWW is it's impossible to play through it exactly the same way twice. It's a lot like MM in that respect - lots of sidequests, not as many in TWW but most of the islands can be visited in any order (after you got all 3 pearls you can basically go anywhere, maybe earlier but I don't worry about that until then, there's not much point in exploring if you don't even have bombs, arrows or the hammer, for some upgrades).
But yeah, since you need a lot of money it's always improvising where to to find some. I really hope to find a master list / walkthrough somewhere of the most efficient way to beat the game. Need to find some overactive fanboys to work this out =P
It would basically tell you which islands to go first, like the ones that have treasure maps, so when you reach the island where you can dig up said treasure, you already have the map. The treasure map system is not in any way rememberable (yeah I made that into a word), so I never know which islands to go to first. Usually I end up on those islands where there's only really one thing to do, and realize I don't have the treasure map for it yet, so I'll have to return to it at a later stage. This is why an easy-to-read chart of where the maps are and where to dig them up would come in handy. Some linearity would be nice, to go from island A to B to C (insert ballad of gales to continue to another string of islands) in an efficient way.
That being said, it doesn't bother me as much anymore. The reefs get kind of demanding after a while (all 6 of them, a lot of bombing cannons, walking all the way around, using the deku leaf, and then go to the next reef, I do remember that many of those treasures lead to the "special" maps (fairy locations, submarines, caves, hearts, watchtowers...)
The story is great, I haven't gotten annoyed about anything (like the totally random plot twists in TP, or general "WTF" as to what was going on, or mostly the NPC's that weren't very inspiring at all, and didn't feel part of the story enough. TWW's NPC's are probably the best, after MM's. MM has the advantage of having the overal plot arc being total destruction of the world, so that involves everyone, but TWW also manages to get most of the characters involved in the drama (on several levels: the kidnapping of Aryll, and the girls on Windfall - the twofold quest of Makar (Forbidden Fortress and his awakening as the wind sage), same with Komali, growing up and saving you from Ganon, Medli (Dragon Roost and then later the earth sage), the people on Outset also being afraid of the monsters, similar to when there's all kinds of monsters in Kokiri Forest,...
Yeah, a lot of love for TWW. In a great many ways it deserves to be considered better than TP. TP, even though there's a few more dungeons, not a lot of repetitiveness (cf. the sailing, small islands, treasure hunting), and the graphics are a matter of taste - TP has great cutscenes but so does TWW - with more emotion and details often times, so TP does end up feeling a bit empty at times, even though there's more meat to it (it's a longer game, more locations, bigger variety of things to do), but there's too many plot twists and too little NPC involvement to truly and utterly love 95% of the game. I guess I may have to put TWW before TP in the definitives. I think the argument of "it's better to regret some more potentially good content missing, than to be annoyed at the things that are in the game (TP) but didn't feel quite satisfying (NP's / sketchy plot moments). This is also why MM, despite only having 4 genuine dungeons (plus 2 skulltulla houses), still wins big -- it doesn't have as much content as TP, but it never disappoints when it comes to all the sidequests, NPC's, involvement in general, and great replayability because of the time system, you can do anything in any order you want, and you'll do it differently anytime, even moreso than in TWW, which has more repetitiveness because of a lot of sailing from one small island to another, mostly just for treasure charts (or tracking down the blue ChuChu's). So yeah. MM still wins over TWW & TP, but TWW wins over TP. And yes I'll be incorporating this logic into my definitives post when I get around to typing the rest of it ^^