I personally love FE1! Being one of those people that has to play games in order (as R0xas aptly put it), it was the first FE game I completed, and I've got very fond memories of it. I like how different it is to the newer games - even its remakes. Weapon level, the way promotion works, the very limited number of classes that can even promote, Kaga's hatred of axes, even minor things like crossbows just make it feel like a completely different experience to me. Consequentially, I am of the opinion that the remakes aren't just better versions of the original. They're different games. They follow the same outline (both in gameplay and in story), but they're still very different games, and one isn't a substitute for the other.
What I think is a problem that a lot of people going into FE1 have, is that they expect it to be like FE11, and then they feel disappointed with the gameplay and completely overlook the story differences when they get to it. I believe FE1 is best enjoyed as its own thing: its own game, its own story. It also obviously suffers from how old it is, with its awful UI... though in my opinion, the game is generally easy enough for that to not really be much of a problem.