I've been studying Italian in the car using the Pimsleur CDs for the past couple of months and have loved that language course. Trying this after the Pimsleur was a huge disappointment. I've just listened to the first of the three CDs and these are my issues with it:
1. You cannot properly study language in the car with this set as it requires a lot of pausing and repeating. The course basically requires you to drive it, and in the car I don't have the luxury of being able to focus on that, and also I do not even have a pause button in the car CD player.
2. By requiring the user to control the amount of repetitions, the course actually puts responsibility on the student, instead of an expert language teacher, to figure out how much repetition is necessary. I found myself simply listening to the whole thing, and rarely repeating any lessons because I felt they were easy enough that repetition was unnecessary. However, true language acquisition happens only through repetition, so much repetition that the phrases become second nature. Additionally, it's not enough for you to repeat the same conversation over and over - there needs to be some variation so that your brain is sufficiently engaged. Unfortunately, this course does not provide repetition with the variation that is necessary.
3. The course tells you in English what you need to say in Dutch, and then it speaks the correct Dutch sentence after you. However, it does not allow you time to repeat the Dutch sentence you heard. Thus, you only get that one first chance to say the sentence the way you think it should be, and never to correct yourself. Maybe the author of the course was hoping people would make use of their pause button here to stop the CD as needed. But I need the teacher to teach me, not rely on me to know when to pause and what to do to learn the language.
4. There is A LOT of talking in English in this course. The CD explains all sorts of linguistic, grammatical, and cultural points, without letting the student simply SPEAK. Isn't the point of the course to learn to SPEAK the language? I found myself listening for long periods, then saying a short sentence here and there, and then listening again for a long time. This is hardly a satisfying way to learn. I was eager to speak, and the CD was not giving me the chance.
5. Before each conversation is played, the course breaks down the sentences into individual words and translates them. This is unnecessary, even silly. Words like articles, prepositions, things that are very much context dependent, are given to you before you actually hear the context.
CONCLUSION: If it's cheap, there's a reason for it. Stay away from cheap language courses. Get the real deal at the library and it won't cost you a penny. Pimsleur is the way to go.