Dragon Quest IX lives up to it's predecessors in every way. Intriguing story, epic quest, memorable characters, and a boat load of hilarious monster names. Sure you will want to grind a bit here and there so the bosses are a breeze (and believe me, with the best equipment and a little grinding, they will be!) but with the non-randomized monsters, that won't be as annoying as before; you can skip past the slimes and go for the juicier creatures if you wish. And with the pacing as it is, you will find even the grinds aren't so bad. Just kill a few extra monsters between towns and dungeons and you'll be set. And if you leave the game for a few weeks or months, just hit the handy Y button and you'll get "the story so far" which will sometimes point you in the right direction.
My recommendation is to buy this game, start up a Bombcast on your iPod and play through all the responsibilities life throws at you. Your DS will be grateful to spend some more time with you.