I've been using Inkscape for over a year now and am continuously impressed. I am not a professional designer and I use it mostly for making brochures, flyers, banners and the like. Coupled with Gimp, it makes a great software set than can do 99% of what I want, often better and easier than Illustrator. Inkscape has some really nice tools, cush as the bitmap trace, and color selection tools, and overall is much more user friendly than AI, especially for novice users. The online help is quite good and coupled with user forums can answer most of my questions. It's a very stable program and I've never had it freeze up. If you are not a power user that will truly benefit from the full Adobe suite, Inkscape is a great option.