Well i actually played and watched people play a couple missions of GTA4. I played the first like 10 missions, thought it was bland.
Dunno, if i remember correctly the first mission in San Andreas was riding a bike from the airport home, found that more entertaining than any mission i played in GTA4.
All a matter of opinion though.
Well, just because the missions and whatnot were bland in GTA4 doesn't mean Niko Bellic is less badass. The things he does are criminal and he's just as much a badass as CJ.
I found the game a little boring also, and I never finished it either. I played GTA:SA for endless hours and it was a way better game than GTA4.
The argument was that CJ is cooler than Niko.