I am nothing approaching a Trek novice, and I loved it. I think it redeemed the Khan from SPACE SEED by making me not have to think about the ridiculous one from WoK, the most nerd-overrated movie I can think of.
I'm glad that you brought up the Khan of "Space Seed," because he is one of the reasons that this movie makes me kind of sad.
At one point in SID, Uhura tells the Klingons that she is appealing to their sense of honor because they are tracking a man who has none. Well, you know, nu-Khan is a terrorist and has no honor by definition. I get that. But "Space Seed" Khan DID have a sense of honor about him. It was only after he watched his wife die horribly, endure a cataclysmic loss of his new Eden to a natural disaster and had 20 years to think about the fact that Kirk never checked on he and his people that he became the cold-blooded, throat-slitting savage of "WRATH OF KHAN."
"STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS" has none of that context and its Khan has no sense of history or depth therefore he is only slightly more complicated a Terminator.
There is also the nice touch that Kirk and the non-Vulcan crew members of the Enterprise guiltily admit to admiring Khan because he was a superhuman conqueror who, once he conquered, was a benevolent dictator. And also because he was kind of awesome.
"STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS" never allows Khan to be an ambiguous or complicated character because, ya know, J. J. Abrams doesn't negotiate with terrorists. It isn't able to redeem the Khan of "Space Seed," because it never acknowledges him.