I'm not a big anime fan for the most part... I prefer manga, which is actually in pretty high demand at teh local (and by local I mean like an hour away) Borders. I like the original, albeit translated original- I'm collecting Rorouni Kenshin (VERY good), Shaman King (if you like the anime, I hate you), Naruto (, all I can say), and Trigun (Confusing, but nifty). I've collected the first 3 volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh (the show is corny as hell; "other Yugi", in the beginning, was a killer who didn't have time for card games, and Jonouchi + Honda are gang members- MUCH more interesting), the first 15 of Dragonball (and I plan to get the last 3- funny as hell), and the first 15 of DBZ (I'm stopping there, not much diff from the anime).
The anime versions of so many mangas suck balls in comparison. It's why I tend not to watch it: the anime is so much better. Also, the "anime drawing style"- what the hell? Not all anime is drawn the same. Kenshin is very realisticly done; Shaman King is done in this inky, exxagerated, cartoony style that looks funny when the mood is light and epic when the mood is more dramatic; Naruto is done in a very smooth, demi-realistic style that's pretty realistic, does great for the scenery, and makes the action make sense. I guess all anime looks pretty much the same, but each manga has its own personality.
Even so, yes, anime for the most part has better characters, plot, and premise than most U.S. television (assuming we're excluding Family Guy, Futurama, The Simpsons, and The Oblongs, of course ). The only anime movie I've seen (and want to see again) is Akira... that movie kicked previously unprecedented amounts of ass.