While I like "classic sf" (meaning technology and adventure), this was a very good read. It has enough stuff to cause some thinking, not just the entertainment value. I highly recommend it to anyone who's getting a little bored with current SF.
I've had problems with UPS too, but the last shipment we got was very carefully packed (6' by 4' by 4') in a custom-made wooden box (packed by UPS). The packer was great, the delivery guy was great, and we are very happy. Sometimes the actual people involved do make a difference!