Decided to buy this Sax after reading a review by the author of Saxophone Manual: The step-by-step guide to set-up, care and maintenance
stating that it's as well built and sounds as good as Taiwanese student saxes that cost twice as much. As per his advice I also got a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece, and some Rico reeds to go with it, and been using it since the beginning. Thus I can't tell anything about the original mouthpiece, but that's the point: you save so much money with this sax that you can afford to buy reputed brands' essential accessories, the mouthpiece being one of the most fundamental ingredients of good sound.
I've been learning to play from zero using Jazz Method for Saxophone (with Audio CD) for Alto Saxes
. I've been progressing steadily for two months, without any hindrance from the sax. The author warns about bad saxes making certain very high or very low pitch notes impossible to play, but that hasn't happened with this one.
The accessories it comes with are a neck strap (kind of integral part of a sax, I guess. Replaced mine with a wider, neoprene strap for added comfort), a pair of white gloves and a pad saver, a device that you stick inside the sax to absorb humidity.
When you want to try to start playing an instrument you never know if you'll get bored or have to give it up, so spending lots of money in the instrument is risky. The alternative is buying a used one, but then you have the worst risk of it being worn out or with defects that you, as a novice, can't notice.
I think this sax is a great alternative. As for me, I've been having lots of fun playing it and it helps me to keep motivated to go on learning.