Agreed. I found Atlas Shrugged to be full of cool ideas when I first read it. Certainly more enjoyable that slogging through George RR Martin's stuff.
I read it a long time ago, but I found it awfully dry. I don't remember a lot of it, but there is one part of the book near the end where they are going around the room and all the great minds explain why they left society and gathered at Galt's Gulch. The composer, the engineer, etc. Finally we get to the doctor, who has found a cure for strokes. The doctor explains society has all these rules for doctors including how much he can get paid, and he doesn't like any of those rules. So society can suck it, they don't get the cure, only the Galt's Gulch folks can share in this miraculous discovery. Okay fair enough.
But contrast to a real doctor, Jonas Salk, who discovered a vaccination for a real disease, polio. Polio was one of the most feared diseases in the world, which killed annually tens of thousands of people in the US, mostly children, and left hundreds of thousands more permanently crippled. Salk refused to make dime on his discovery, instead hoping that his vaccine could be distributed as far and wide and as fast as possible. And in fact that's what happened. Salk and his colleagues positively affected literally millions of lives.
So, the question for me kind of comes down to who would I rather live next to? The bitter doctor who hordes his discovery to himself because he's offended by society? Or the guy who rolls up his sleeves and makes society better?
No question in my book. And fortunately, the bitter doctor is fictional and there really was a Jonas Salk.