Im four eps in and so far im really enjoying it. Im completely caught up in the comics and I must say I quite like some of the changes they've made and some of the new characters they've introduced.
Episode 4 "Vatos" was written by kirkman himself so it was cool to see him mess around with these new characters and deviations. The padding out and deviations I think are necessary if they hope to make the series last. If they followed the books by the letter we would probably have almost caught up with the books themselves by the end of season 2.