In defence of the early stories, I've read "The Tomb" and "Dagon" and enjoyed both. I agree that stories like "The Dunwich Horror" (for example) are superior, but that's no reason to write off the early works. The image of the immense, slippery fish-god wrapping its arms around the stone monolith and the dark simplicity with which Lovecraft writes "I think I went mad then." gave me a shudder.
I shall continue with interest.
UPDATE: "Polaris" was very good indeed, and once again demonstrates what gems there are to be found amongst the early stories.