The current problem with SOIaF, in my opinion, is that the number of important characters has increased exponentially since "A Game Of Thrones". Now, lots and lots of things happen to lots of characters, but the events have little impact on the plot as a unified whole. I worry there's just going to have to be some wholesale slaughter of characters in this next book to thin the herd and get the story compact and moving again. Either that or the next book will be 2000 pages and come out in 25 years after Martin's death.
I worry about this, and it parallels what happened to Wheel of Time.
I think the first four books of WoT are spectacular. Then more and more characters get involved and the scope increases. Books 5 and 6 are still pretty good, then 7 - 9 start to really drag as he weaves in more and more characters that the reader couldn't care less about, things become much more focused on political intrigue and vying for power, and the actual plot lines slow to a snail's pace. Book 10 is quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. Book 11 is on par with 5 - 9. Then Sanderson takes over and the books get really good again, but feel a little cheaper.
When I first started aSoIaF, I could tell immediately that Martin was doing what Jordan had tried to do with books 6 - 11: A focus on political machinations with less emphasis on magic and that kind of power. But Martin does it masterfully and with such engaging and real characters, while Jordan does it so poorly and with characters the reader couldn't care less about, and to some degree turns his main characters into cliches and caricatures.
So if you're looking for a good fantasy series, read WoT but stick with cliff notes for books ~7 - 11. If you want a series that's like aSoIaF, look elsewhere.