I'm glad you mentioned Rent, I went with a few friends to see Rent in Baltimore.....we decided to leave at intermission. Hated it, but maybe I should give it another look.
Glitterbag, I swear to you that the first time I saw Rent
I loathed it. It had been recommended by a good friend...a woman who had recommended several good movies/plays/musicals in the past.
At some point while watching it (the movie version) I turned to my wife and said, "What did Beth have against us to make us sit through this pile of ****?"
But on second viewing (months later and prompted by an urge I could not understand)...I realized it was super. I've seen it several times on stage in amateur productions (at Princeton, Rutgers, and a few independent local theaters) and loved it.
Give it another try...and see if it grows on you.