I finished reading Brisingr last month. I enjoyed the book very much, and am impatient to read the next and hopefully last book of the series. 'Hopefully last' only because I want to see how it all ends and not because it's not a good story. I did find that some parts were overly long, and dragged a little, but overall it was absorbing as a fantasy tale ought to be.
The sword-making bit really was unnecessary to go on for so many pages! It's obvious that it's only been put in because of the amount of research you probably put in. I hope Paolini will resist the urge in the final book :)
There was one tiny but glaring mistake: when someone says/thinks "he could care less" - the common error made in colloquial English, when the person actually means "he couldn't care less".
Otherwise I admire Paolini's skills and maturity of writing. Brilliant. Very well done!