Given that Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) includes speech-to-text dictation as a free feature, Dragon Dictate seems increasingly like a product without a purpose. Dragon Dictate has many other features besides this, some of which are useful (speech-based UI control, transcription of recorded speech) -- but none of those features remotely justifies its price now that you don't need to buy it in order to do dictation on your Mac.
The unboxing and installation is straightforward enough, but Dragon does not do a good job of making the installation process smooth or Mac-like. Once the software is installed, the required registration step is unbelievably obnoxious -- you have to enter a very long serial number, and it's totally inexplicably rejected unless you manage to figure out, as the documentation explains NOWHERE, that you must enter its letter components in uppercase, not lowercase. The engineer responsible for this user-hostility should be summarily fired!
The product's UI in general is quite un-platform-native in appearance and extremely un-self-explanatory in function -- lots of tiny unlabeled icons, floating/hovering translucent overlay windows full of unexplained commands, and the menus are also completely arbitrary and Windows-y. Not a pleasant learning curve, and not one worth attempting unless you really, really need full speech control of your UI (e.g. for reasons of disability).
In a direct comparison, I found Dragon's accuracy in recognizing my speech no better than Apple's, and sometimes very much worse. Despite the training process that allegedly accustoms the software to your specific accent, and also the secondary vocabulary training based on your existing documents, Dragon was unable to handle specialized vocabulary, consistently mistaking words -- e.g. "dissertation" always became "station," "serration," etc., in my tests, even after training on a document that included the word many times. The vaunted transcription function, which should be a killer app -- taking recorded speech from a previous event and making it into text -- is comically bad (sub-20% recognition accuracy on my sample recordings even after extensive training attempts). And even worse, there's no way to tell it to turn off its command vocabulary while transcribing -- so, e.g., a recorded lecture that contains the word "period" becomes unintelligible, because the word becomes a punctuation mark every time.
This is such poor performance it's hard even to call it an "unpolished" product, because it's not clear that anyone at Dragon is even trying to polish it. It's just bad. Do they know how bad it is? I'm not sure. So the software surely doesn't justify the price. And nothing that comes in the box is worth much besides the software -- you can get a cheapo USB headset mic for $10 that's equivalent to the one included. This product needs a serious rethink before anyone spends this much, or any, money on it.