It was 2 years from Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008 to get the third installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don't actually remember that wait... we hadn't reached the point of getting good Marvel movies 2-3 times a year.
I'd remembered not being as fond of Iron Man 2, but not really why. Just that it wasn't as fun... and it wasn't. And yet, it was still a solid movie, and an important story in the life of Tony Stark. It ties in his father, Howard Stark, with SHIELD. It shows his relationship with Pepper, giving her a bit of a story arc, it brings in Warmachine (not to mention a new actor for Col. Rhodes), and it shows Tony's most significant fault; his pride.
And boy, does Tony's pride take him down a few notches.
He gets into a fight with his best friend, who takes one of his suits. He trashes his own house, and ends up eating donuts inside a donut nursing his hangover. He promotes Pepper to CEO, and then she kicks him out of his old office. He also gets fooled by Black Widow... oh, and his dad schools him on science. All in all, not his best showing. Knowing what I know now, I also know this isn't as bad as it gets.
For all that this isn't as fun as the first, it's still a worthy inclusion into the MCU. And after 2 years waiting for something more? I think everyone was pretty thrilled to get it. I do remember wondering if they were planning on just making the whole MCU revolve around Iron Man at this point...
Next Up: Thor