David Gemmell is a good author, although his plots get a bit ropey from time to time - "experienced fighter is too old to fight on, but finds some young 'un who has the strength but not the brains" ad infinitum. That said, "Troy" and "Lion of Macedon" are two very fine works.
David Eddings has been known to write good books, but please avoid the Redemption of Althalus unless you enjoy 1-dimensional characters, random plot twists and a brain-curdling "humour".
Don't read anything by Robert Jordan. He is monotonous to the extreme, his books go nowhere (and take 1000 pages each to do that), his characters are painfully crap, and his depiction of women makes me think he's never had a girlfriend. I almost stopped reading the Wheel of Time when each member of the Aes Sedai (aka "witches") shucked off the tops of their dresses to show their breasts, and solemnly had to pronounce "I...am...a woman!" The only reason I've made it so far through the series is because I'm hoping something - anything - will happen that will make my reading investment worthwhile.
Robin Hobb, Philip Pullman: highly recommended.
Neil Gaiman: seriously twisted, full of surprises, edged with danger, and certainly a good read.
Anne McCaffrey writes an apparently endless stream of books on dragons. This is no bad thing if you like dragons, and the first two books are actually very good. Goes downhill a bit afterwards, though.
Raymond E. Feist can be a struggle for less-experienced fantasy readers, purely because he's a real great in the arena - his ideas have been borrowed so many times by other writers that newcomers to the genre will think him dull and uninventive. Magician (and its sequels) is a marvellous book that's packed with what have since become fantasy cliches.
JRR Tolkien: LOTR is a powerful and inventive series, but if you're going to read it I'd recommend you buy the seven-volume edition - much easier to carry, much easier to find your place in, and much less scary
Regarding the missing wights, I'd much rather have seen Tom Bombadil!