Hoo boy, I wouldn't make predictions if I were you, GRRM himself refuses to make them any more.
But about the books I felt exactly the same, especially as it really picks up by the end (those endless descriptions of turtles could have been cut out!). And you will definitely pick up loads more on a second read. There are a lot of characters introduced early on that come into play later, by which time I'd forgotten who they were, a second read really helps you make connections.
I don't support any side, there are just certain characters that I like. Most of them are just caught up in the conflict depending on where they live or who their family is, it's more about people than sides for me.
Though I would like Stannis to win because of how unlikely his cause is. In a traditional story he'd have died long ago but he's such a hard bastard that he always holds on.
It's a bit like asking "why wasn't there a population explosion of nobility during the middle ages?". Because The younger children didn't inherit major titles, by the late middle ages all a parent's titles were passed to the eldest son (mostly). The other male children had to make their own way, either by making a career in the church, becoming knights, merchants, whatever. The female children had much less chance of getting a title in their own right and were married off to other lords.