That was the great thing about the puzzles! It forced you to think outside the box and decipher the machinations of a long dead alien civilization, what did they value? What purpose would this room have served to them, and from there, what would an item I find in here be used for? The game was brilliantly structured, everything was so fantastically minimalist and subtle. Of course you'll need to do a bit of dusting and fixing, this place has been untouched for centuries, millenia even! Damn i feel like playing it right now.
No, the game is not like Monkey Island or Grim Fandango. If you buy the game expecting it to be like them you will be dissapointed. That's like comparing an episode of LOST to an episode of The Simpsons or Family Guy. They may share the same medium, but the tone, pace and style are TOTALLY different. But who knows? You might like both, and it'd be a crime for you not to give The Dig a go, even if you don't like it.