several friends and me started with Mr Beer. My buddy brewed an excellent first beer with it (canadian lager kit), and his subsequent batches were good too. Not world class but plenty good enough. I had trouble with it at first, but I discovered that it was my water that was the culprit. It did get me into the hobby though, and now I've got multiple buckets and carboys, plus tons of equipment and I'm hooked. I'm actually going to use the Mr Beer keg for a secondary fermentation of part of a batch of stout I'm going to brew in may (I'm going to try a small amount of vanilla bean). So while Mr Beer may not be the greatest kit ever, it clearly has some value in that it gets people into the hobby. If done right, it actually makes pretty decent beers too.