Speaking as a novice (and newbie to the forum) I'm personally delighted with the 600EX-RT system.
For a long time flash photography was something of an enigma to me. Reading the likes of this forum and even Syl's excellent Speedliter's Handbook, often left me more confused than before. Because of this, I was always reluctant to spend the cash on a decent set of Canon speedlites.
Till now, I had used the Meike 580 (canon copy) and Pixel King wireless triggers. If I'm honest, I only ever successfully managed to the get the things working on one occasion. The painful process that several reviews describe of trying to eliminate where the problems were with third party equipment was something I was very familiar with and simply exacerbated my frustrations and difficulty in developing my understanding of flash photography. As an aside – I whole heartedly do not recommend either of the above – you get what you pay for I’m afraid!
I won’t lie, given the expense of the new 600’s and the likely amount of use I would get from the product, it was not a straightforward decision and purchase for me to make. I’ve spent the last 4 months reading every article on the web, every Youtube clip and every review before convincing myself to make the investment.
I’m pleased to say that I finally picked up two 600’s very recently and I can’t speak highly enough of them from my relatively inexperienced perspective. I defer to those more seasoned and experienced pros and semi pros on this forum in terms of highlighting the weaknesses of the system, but for my photography needs (and understanding), I think they are a great tool.
The mysterious black art of trying to understanding flash settings, wireless and camera control is completely removed. When working with my 5d Mk III, you just switch it all on and it works. The LCD screen on the back of the speedlite is intuitive and informative so I can understand what the equipment is doing at a simple glance.
What all this means to me is I can now concentrate my efforts on learning about the effect of light and composition rather than get embroiled in the often unfathomable world of flash gear techno jargon.
EOS 5D MK III, 24-105 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.8