Don't have time to do a proper review, but here are a few thoughts about the first ep:
First the good things:
The actors. I love to see Eliza Dushku again and also Amy Acker. I think Eliza is really going to be a treat in all her different personalities, even if the first two were not all that interesting.Tahmoh Penikett made me want to see more of him and it was sweet to have him shirtless in the first episode (ahem).
Murky, murky moral waters. This is one show where you'll be hard pressed to draw the lines between good and evil, I think and that has a lot of potential. The crew that runs the Dollhouse is deeply flawed from the first moment, after all they are basically high end slave traders. The Agent is obsessive and willing to pretty far to get information. Echo (or Caroline) herself has obviously done something really bad before she was erased and the clients are mostly rich Johns. But anyway most of the characters seem to have likeable qualities as well.
What's also interesting is that Echo is not yet a hero. She might be, once she starts to put the traces of personalities left back together, but so far she's a victim and comes closest to River from Firefly if you wanted to compare her with Joss past characters. Even if she's imprinted with a very empowered personality, to the client she 's still mostly a tool. Made to be from their wishes. It's seriously creepy and unsettling.
What made me fall for buffy and firefly was mostly the characters and their constant development over the episodes. One pilot is far to little to get into the people on this show, but I'm looking forward to get to know them better. The basics seem to work since I kind of liked Echo's personalities and also I already feel an intense dislike for this Topher person, he's like Andrew and Warren rolled in one.
The overall plot with the weird agent and the doubtful origins of the dollhouse organization looks interesting, but it's too early to tell.
the not so great things:
Not very funny so far. At least not like I would expect from Joss, but then it's clearly supposed to be dark and I'm sure there are going to be crazy episodes too. Also it's a pilot, it's cramped with quick introductions and information and has all the usual pilot quirks going on.
The other thing that bothers me is that the whole different personality every week idea has the potential for and endless number of filler episodes. I'm really sorry that the networks don't like big plots. I do and fillers unnerve me. I want my shows to be one giant story arc. I can see, where the would want people to be able to watch it even if they missed an episode, but to me the need to make every episode a stand alone is hobbling the development.
All in all I liked it, even if I'm not falling head over heels in love with it. I hope this one is going to stick with us for a while.