Both forms when properly celebrated are beautiful and uplifting. Our OF vigil lasted four hours with all seven readings, baptisms, reception in to the faith, confirmations, appropriate periods of silence, the different blessings (fire, water and so forth).
We had five priests concelebrating, four deacons assisting and all of our religious there. Our church is medium size (I guess). It sits about 1,000 people. There were more than that, because all the walls were lined with people standing. Communion took about 15 minutes.
The music was beautiful. We had a blend of Latin hymns and traditional English classics. By the time it was over I was so happy that I wished it would keep going. The movements from one part to the other were smoothly executed and you did not realize the time, because it just keeps moving leading you from one reflection to another.
The singing of the Gloria was absolutely beautiful when all the bells went off and the congregation seemed so happy and engrossed in it. The moment of the consecration was just undescribeable. You could hear a pin drop. You didn’t even know that there were that many people in one small space. Everything went without a glitch.
There should be no difference in the reverence and the focus when both forms are celebrated. The only noticeable difference should be in the form.
As to the readings, the idea is to proclaim salvation history as it foreshadows the triumph of Christ over death. The readings are important, because they are all about HIM, even the OT readings.
I wouldn’t trade it for the world.