I have a long relationship with James Cameron's special editions.
I'm a guy who saw the original "Terminator" in the theater. Well over 20 times. Over and over at a theater where my friend's older brother got us in for free, and where the film played for months to a mostly-full auditorium. And by the time "Aliens" came out theatrically, I was working at a theater, so again, I must have gone 20 times or so in the long summer and fall the film played one of our eight screens. I was addicted to Cameron's action-movie sensibility, and I thought he was a clever, inventive SF writer. His influences were fairly close to the surface, but so what? He was an aggressive stylist and he knew how to throw down the big moments.
The reason I loved novelizations when I was growing up was because many of them contained material that was in the original script but that didn't make it to the final film because the writer was working from something in advance, before there was a finished film to look at. And when I read the Alan Dean Foster adaptation of James Cameron's "Aliens" script, I got reeeeeeeally frustrated. The material about Ripley's daughter made it into the book, and right away, it struck me as a stronger character choice. But at that point, the home video market really didn't do the director's cut thing.