The Ring. Which Ring?

Interesting article in The New Yorker speculating on how much Tolkien borrowed from Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen for The Lord of the Rings. Both Tolkien and Wagner's works are grand epics. Howard Shore wrote some great scores for Peter Jackson's movie trilogy, and it would have been fascinating if he borrowed some motifs from Wagner.
Right now, some lucky fans are sitting in a theater watching all three episodes in Jackson's trilogy back to back to back. That's about 12 hours worth of sitting in a darkened theater. Watching Wagner's entire Ring cycle requires an even greater time commitment. I think it usually lasts around 15 hours and is usually spread out over several days. That's a long time to be looking at some large opera singers who aren't quite as photogenic as Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, or Liv Tyler.
In a class on Arthurian literature in college, the professor showed us clips from Boorman's Excalibur. I remember thinking (1) that it was a strangely gothic, kinky, atmospheric movie and (2) that the score was awesome. It turned out that most of the score was lifted from various works by Wagner, with Orff's Carmina Burana tossed in for apocalyptic effect.
Once in my life I'll listen to the watch or listen to the entire Ring cycle end to end (it's not often that an opera company puts on the entire series, and when they do, ticket prices are usually exorbitant).