I know I'm kind of late in jumping on the bandwagon, but holy crap is it an awesome bandwagon!
When I first discovered Dwarf Fortress (available at bay12games.com) months ago I knew that there was an awesome game somewhere, but didn't have the patience to learn it. It was not until I read through the story of Boatmurdered that I finally managed to stick with it.
I have now reached the point in the learning curve where the godly amounts of fun and sadly lost (NOT wasted) time is starting. What I find hard is sticking with the game after the first immigrant wave, generally because my first fortresses were apparently quite popular amongst soap makers. Now I'm currently stuck because I have a secretive mood weaver hungering for leather and cloth, and I can't find the cloth I've bought from the elves - apparently one of the kobold fuckers stole it. I would not like to lose my only freshly acquired weaver, but how can I make cloth in a few months' time? I think I have cloth plants ready, but planting them and making the cloth out of them (provided I can figure out how) is time-consuming, especially since the only skill needed for that procedure I have is the grower, and if I need a thresher or even weaver I have to use dabblers. Do you see chances or do I have to write the guy off?