I grew up with them. They ARE my childhood. When I was around 7-8 years I got my first cards and when I was 8 or 9 years my first gameboy with Pokémon games. They just are the only 151 pokémon I remember by heart. They are actually everything what Pokémon is about to me.
I enjoy and appreciate all later generations too but the first one still has a special place inside my heart and I will never ever forget them.