Mike I was not, but had read Rand before. I don't feel it trudged on and on, but then again, the concept of pride in the work you do. Ownership of ideas, and a belief in the self is something I subscribe to. Ayn Rand is not for everyone, but I enjoy her books immensely.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[it does not end there. Interestingly, it goes on to solidify the ideas which you are introduced in the first trial. The book ends with another trial and two magnificent monologues. Those monologues are consolidation of whatever you have read till the point. (hide spoiler)]