I'm a late adopter in that it took me 6 years to finally see this movie. I got it used at Amazon.com for $3 (including shipping). Not to shabby.
I was intrigued to see The Matrix after reading about it here. My son has wanted to see it for a couple of years anyway. So he got to see his first 'R' rated film tonight. Here's a site for parents on why movies, video games, etc. are rated the way they are.
I don't think it was the "Speaking of Faith" radio program that was the clincher, though. My son and I have been reading the Bobby Pendragon series, and the 4th book has quite a similar plot. Folks living in pods and by computer fantasy. However, in the Pendragon book, it is by choice.
I ended up being on the edge of my seat for quite a bit of the movie. I'm glad to have finally seen it. My 10 year old son seemed like he probably was not going to be scarred by it either. There was lots of needless violence and some "bad words", but he seemed to understand that, and remained mostly interested in the plot and the special effects (good boy!).