This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think that Persona 1 is terrible and nobody should play it. I have tried both versions, the PSP version more than once - I bought it thinking that just the PS1 port was bad, and I was wrong. The Persona 2 duology is so much of an improvement that it's stunning. Persona 1 is awful, the next five are excellent. Woo, comma splices.
I actually agree with you. It's pretty much the only SMT game I don't like, and it's the only game stalling the Shin Megami Tensei marathon I've been itching to do...
I mean, I guess it has a decent story, but the dialogue feels rather poorly written in both versions. I think the PSP version's a little better in that regard, but not by enough and the characters thus far have been forgettable. The combat is just confusing and the PSP version's encounter rate is too high. The graphics haven't aged well, and I'm not a fan of the PSP version's music. I just find it very painful to play.
That said, Persona 2: Innocent Sin is great, and probably my favorite in the Persona sub-series. Graphics aside, it seems to fix nearly every issue I had with Persona 1.