Let me say, to begin it started slow. It wasn't bad, and it was trying to be realistic, but it didn't quite grab me. It's taken time to grow on me, in fact it was only around episodes 14-15 that I started to really like it, prior to that I merely thought it was good. And now, with episode 20, I'm actively hanging out for more.
I've only every seen bits of the original Stargate series, which seemed fun, and I saw all of Stargate: Atlantis which was dumb but enjoyable enough to keep me going, but Stargate: Universe, even when I wasn't enjoying it as much as I am now, was good.
More importantly, it's Star Trek: Voyager done right. In SGU there are genuine issues with food and water, there are problems with the ship, there's real conflict, disagreements, bad decisions, and all these things have consequences. And on top of that, you have an ongoing power struggle between the military and the civilian sections of the crew. None of these people want to be here, and they aren't happy about it or having a good time.
All up, good stuff.