It is NOT ILLEGAL to play online poker in most states. It is a gray area as to whether it is legal to gamble online. The recent 'ACT', signed about 10 months ago, only made electronic transfers of money to gambling sites a problem.
That 'ACT' drove most of the poker sites out of the US.
There are not a lot of sites left catering to the US market. FullTilt, PokerStars
, UltimateBet, Absolute, and bodog would probably be the main ones. PokerNordica has a nice interface, and is an up and coming site. There are others as well.
I agree with you and prefer FullTilt. Most of the time it is fast and feels light on its feet. PokerStars is a bit slower, the interface is OK but their main attraction is that they are the biggest, with the most everything. Bodog is sparse by comparison but might be the fastest site. Absolute has made some nice changes lately, and its sister site UltimateBet is still as clunky as ever.
Many folks here will tell you each sites population is different, more fish here, more pros there. I don't believe it.
Should you decide to try any of those others please link to them through this site. You will loose nothing, but this site might get a rake back sort of benefit from your downloading via this page;
And welcome to Cardschat.