I'm a physicist who is very much into the foundational questions surrounding consciousness, and I have to say that I think that GEB is genius, and very much worth reading. In fact in a lot of ways, it is one of the books I've gotten the most out of, and I have always been annoyed by those who 'don't get it.' You just can't expect a book that tackles what GEB does to do so in a linear manner -- that would be like giving up on a zen koan because it makes no sense. Heck, even in the introduction to a recent copy Hofstadter basically laments the fact that most people 'don't get it.' I, for one, think the book is absolutely brilliant and beyond its time, and not because it cutely weaves together so many interesting subjects, but because it communicates deep and compelling insights into the nature of consciousness that few other books have come close to.