I enjoyed what I played of the DS version. I would have enjoyed the console version more if I weren't stuck with the Wii version and its motion controls.
Warped is definitely the easiest of the Naughty Dog games. My favorite console Crash games are Crash 2, 3, and CTR. My favorite handheld Crash games are The Huge Adventure and the DS version of Crash of the Titans.
There is a secret warp exit in Air Crash. Taking this exit with open the sixth warp room's portal to the red gem path in Snow Go.
I used to have a couple of the action figures as a kid. What I have currently is a poster for Warped and strategy guides for Warped and TWOC from Prima and Bradygames respectively.
The original Crash Bandicoot is hard if you're going for 100% - can't die once and if you do, no gem (even if you manage to re-break all the previous boxes that re-spawn after you die). If you're not then yeah, it's basically get from point a to point b without losing all your lives. The remake took away the challenge of getting gems that the first game had (except for the color gems). In addition, the first game was much stiffer when controlling Crash.
So, yeah, I have no problem playing the remake of Crash 1. It's just that most of the challenge people have been talking about stem from the original game.