I will be curious to see how these projects unfold. Overall, my feelings are mixed. I've explained many of the reasons for this here. Additionally, there are the unresolved questions of who will direct the films, who will adapt the texts, and what, exactly, the prequel movie will encompass. At any rate, it certainly will be interesting to see how the films develop.
(Incidentally, the official Hobbit Movie Blog is syndicated for LJ as thehobbitfilm.)
Second, re: Harry Potter:
If you haven't heard J.K. Rowling's interview (the first of two parts) on Pottercast, I highly recommend it!
This is what I have heard
at last the wind in December
lashing the old trees with rain
unseen rain racing along the tiles
under the moon
wind rising and falling
wind with many clouds
trees in the night wind
- W.S. Merwin