I think that anyone who's interested in modern, intuitive tarot (as opposed to traditional, historical tarot buffs who follow the Marseilles path) MUST own a copy of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as it's the wellspring from which all the other modern decks have come.
This is my preferred version of the deck, too. The soft, subtle colouring appeals to me much more than some of the almost-flourescent newer versions. The colours in particular remind me that this was, graphically at least, a product of it's time - the Art Nouveau period.
It's taken a long time for Pamela Colman Smith to get the recognition she deserves. She might not have been the most skilled draftsperson there ever was, and this deck was made in a very brief period of time - but in my opinion, her power was in her subtlety. Slight nuances of expression, muted tones and patterns in the fabrics and fills. In this version of the RWS deck, I can almost feel the lightness of her touch as she painted these images.
I agree with others that if you're a beginner, Waite's original booklet isn't a great deal of use - get yourself a good, thorough book like Rachel Pollack's '78 Degrees of Wisdom' in addition.
I own a couple of RWS versions and I think that in this case it's true that "the Original is still the best". I'm so glad this 'Original' reproduction set is available again.