My exact feelings, and I grew up with Gen 1. Tbh, the only Pokemon I ever really cared for were Charizard and Mewtwo. Don't get me wrong, I liked cool Pokes like Blastoise, Kabutops, Aerodactyl, Arbok, Nidoking, Alakazam, Arcanine, the bird trio, Electabuzz, Magmar etc. But the majority did feel bland. The Pokemon became more interesting and frankly, more original as the Gens went by for me.
Official hot fudge sundae of the IDF Official Hydreigon of the Pokemon B/W 2 Boards.
I started in Gen 1 too. I still remember being so excited to get my copy of Blue a few months after the game came out. I agree, the gen 1 Pokemon were relatively plainly designed.
Consider this, though. There have been a lot of "pet monster" games over the years, and what made Pokemon stand out so much in part was exactly that the majority of its designs were simplistic in an endearing way. NOWadays, we have much more clever designs and most of the gen 1 designs are "meh", and that's putting it gently, but Pokemon wouldn't have had the opportunity to create the more complex and creative designs that it has today without the simplistic designs that it started out with.
That's how I look at it, anyway, and it keeps me from being a gen 1 hater while still keeping my nostalgia goggles off, so I like it. Pokemon designs have gotten better, definitely, but they needed to have a starting point, and gen 1 offered a fantastic one.
My NIDOKING brings all the boys to the yard: http://goo.gl/ExAoe