I'll have to admit that deadlifts are my favourite as well. It's a raw strength exercise, so it just feels great when you get the weight up and just hold it there for a couple of seconds. One of the main reasons I didn't deadlift in the past was that I had back problems on and off when I was younger; however, my back has been feeling great since I've started DLing.
Another reason why deadlifts kick ass is that not many people do them. In fact, I've only seen two people doing deadlifts at my new gym... one was an off-duty personal trainer doing 135 lb deads. Enough said. Most of the few people I've seen deadlifting have shit for form anyway, so I'm almost glad most people don't deadlift.
Recently, I got my girlfriend to buy into deadlifting... that's a huge step towards getting her to ditch all the machine exercises they push on her at Spa Lady.