What is it about Lord Vetinari that captured my imagination? It must be admitted that until Guards! Guards, I only thought he was kind of cool. But with Guards! Guards, something changed. Maybe it's because his appearance was finally described in detail (long, thin, blue-veined hands have long been a weakness of mine). Or maybe it's because his political philosophy was given more attention.
You see, Lord Vetinari rules Ankh-Morpork with the kind of calm sense I have long since given up hope of seeing in the politicians here in the United States. He knows life is imperfect and that people are essentially looking out for themselves. He shares my views of most of humanity (ie, that your average person is of unimpressive intelligence and generally looking out for number one) and he's very practical.
Under his rule, crime has dropped (well, illegal crime, anyway), Ankh-Morpork has prospered, and provided one doesn't commit suicide* it's a decent place to live. His Lordship is against unnecessary violence (while being bang on the side of necessary violence, of course), and is remarkably tolerant - he will allow anything which does not threaten the wellfare of the city. Well, he does have anyone caught practicing mime inside the city walls hung upside down over a scorpion pit, but that's really his only failing, if you can even call it that. Mimes are disturbing.
Lord Vetinari is stunningly intelligent, completely dedicated, and very, very rarely at a loss. How could one not admire him?
I sometimes think I'd like to live in Ankh-Morpork.
Then I remember that while it does have the advantage of being ruled by Lord Vetinari, it's smelly, does not have Diet Coke, and my computer wouldn't work there.
So I am more or less content to read about the place rather than experiencing it.* It's remarkably easy to commit suicide in Ankh-Morpork. For example, walking into a dwarf bar and saying, "hallo, lawn ornaments!" is a good way to do it.