[steez]wrecka18, I agree, in part, that the filmakers were aiming for a more mature/"artsy" audience, although I don't believe the movie was as heavy-handed and convoluted as you make it sound.
The shaky camera bit has been played out... in fact, nearly every technique pioneered by Steven Soderberg (and perfected by Tony Scott) has had a hand in quite a few shitty movies that believed they were "masterful". I, myself, am disillusioned immediately when I see a grainy-digi-film, oversaturated, shaky camera, rushed documentry type of feel... almost in the sense that I silently say to the movie, "If you're going to use these techniques, you better damn well live up to it."
Children of Men wants to be great; it strives to be great. It wants to be a "masterful" movie as well as an important one. And, I feel, on all levels, it acheives it's goals. Yes, the cinematography was amazing; yes, the acting was remarkable; yes, the story was unique and engaging. The film techniques the directer used were spot-on with the story. The shaky camera was not used simply as a gimmick, it was used to portray the intense "craziness" of the movie.
And for the pacing... I feel it was perfect. At no point did it lose my attention, nor did it ever seem to "drag". The time between action set-peices was quite far, but only to allow the genious of the story to take place. If you want to see something that moves at a "snail's pace", watch a later-day Clint Eastwood movie.