For someone like myself who likes these types of games.. is Elemental fun?
A short answer with qualifications: NO
The qualifications - I like my turn based strategy games featuring tactical combat to have either interesting tactical combat game mechanics or to have challenging computer opponents, and whether the latter is gained through decent strategic AI or through giving the computer opponents enough bonuses to compensate for their inferiority is less important though I prefer the former, and preferably both.
Elemental 1.09 gets, from my view as a veteran strategy gamer, a very low score in both of those categories. It is neither challenging nor provides interesting tactical battles - the only real reason to fight the tactical battles is that the automatic battle resolution consistently gives you much worse results than fighting them by hand and using the most basic of tactics. (And I do mean basic. Think along the lines of: "1) Use AOE if lots of enemies massed together, 2) Conserve mana: Don't use any spells if you can defeat the enemy without casualties or serious harm despite not casting spells")
All of this could be ignored if the game had some revolutionary design feature that I considered great fun, something causing that "just one more turn..." feeling. It doesn't. It may to others, but certainly not to me.
The game clearly has a lot of potential - that has been clear since release - so I have devoted time to testing every patch since release, but while many of the outright bugs that infested the release version have been addressed, the underlying design flaws, and they are considerable, have not. Many of these are set to be addressed in the future, we have been assured, but my previously strong belief in the ability of Mr. Wardell to recognize good design (to say nothing of game balance) when he sees it was severely shaken by the state Elemental was in upon release, for which he bears sole responsibility due to his multiple hats in Stardock and on the development team, and will take years to recover. It wasn't particularly fun to see Elemental slaughtered by the other game developers on QT3, but it was well deserved.
In its current state, Elemental is a working bad game. That is a huge improvement on launch status but it is not good enough for me. It might be for you and I can pretty much guarantee you that whether it is or not you WILL have fun for the first few days after getting the game as you start playing and learning how the game works. (Well, unless your game gets stuck in one of those stupid "a bug prevents you from advancing to the next turn - this persists through saving/reloading the game" situations and you don't have a recent save without the behaviour, one of the showstopping bugs that remains in the game as of 1.09 and happened in my 1.09 test game but is, as I've understood it, pretty rare).
I would like to say "Go buy it, I am sure that it will be worth it eventually once Stardock gets around to rewriting the most bloody stupid parts of the game engine and, in addition, makes it a challenging game", but while I do have faith that Stardock will overhaul the game engine as promised, I no longer have any faith that this is guaranteed to result in a better game and thus my answer must be: No.
If you have more faith than me, then by all means, go and buy it.
If you want a good strategy fantasy wargame, go buy Illwinter Game Design's Dominions 3 if you don't have it already. It has a few years on its back. The art is poor, the AI is bad, the interface is worse, and user friendliness is nothing to write home about, but you get the deepest fantasy strategy game released in the history of computer gaming with the greatest number of meaningful choices. In SP it is merely a good game, due to the aformentioned poor AI, but in multiplayer, for the person who likes long-term multiplayer games where strategy and diplomacy are at a premium, it shines. It also comes with a ~300 page manual for those of us who like bricks.