Going to Las Vegas is sort of like going to a Dave Matthews Band concert. While the stage show may be great, the audience "show" is not to be missed (To be clear: I am a fan of both). Even if you are a gambler, which you absolutely do not have to be to enjoy Sin City, there is no point to going to Las Vegas if you are not going to take in the "show." Staying on the strip is a great call.
So, I have to say, the Bellagio is the hotel on the strip with the highest production values. It is a complete escape from reality. I have enjoyed my time there because it is opulent and way over the top without being too theme-park (Hard Rock, Paris, New York, New York, Treasure Island, Venetian).
Bellagio is spendy. An effective end-run is staying at the Monte Carlo (next door to Bellagio) riding the tram over the Bellagio to enjoy all the dining and entertainment and gaming and shopping options available. The tram runs between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo, 24 hours a day. Trains leave every 10 minutes.
THE NOT-TO-BE-MISSED (and how could you?)Attraction is the Fountain of Bellagio...It packs all the punch of Fourth of July Fireworks and the Disneyland Electrical Parade combined!
Read all about it http://www.bellagio.com/pages/frameset_noflash.asp
Note on Scale or First Time Users: You know that warning on rear view car mirrors that reads, "Objects are closer than they appear" ? Well, something like that applies to Las Vegas and it has to do with the enormous scale of these hotels.
"Objects are farther away than they appear." I clocked it once. From my room at the Monte Carlo to Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Casino (across the street) was over half a mile.