I've had this watch for a couple of weeks. Having never used anything like this before, and only 6mths into running/fitness, i was very unsure whether to spend this kind of money and especially as it only had 7 reviews at the time. But i read a lot of reviews on other similar products, and the older Garmin ones, and felt that getting the latest version was a chance worth taking, on the basis that most of the -ve's points in the reviews on the older Garmin products would probably have been addressed with the 610 (eg buttons on the older watches, poor battery life etc etc). And i have to say, it would seem that's been the case.
I've used the watch for a couple of 10k runs outside, and about 15 hrs at the gym.
It does everything that it claims to, and very well:
Satellites take 30 seconds or so to locate.
The "swipe" touchscreen is excellent. I just tap it and it changes to the next screen, so very good whilst running (Havn't used it in the rain, so i can't comment).
I'm not especially tech-oriented, but it is very intuitive. The manual is very straight forward and easy to read. I very quickly set-up the screens i wanted to see on the watch.
The HRM strap is very comfortable, and has never lost any signal to the watch.
The only area where i struggled a touch was the software, but if you follow the intructions (ie dont plug in the USB stick right away,,tempting tho it is, before going on the website). I clicked on the Garmin website link via the instruction disk. Created a sign-in, and after that you just click on upload. The data it provides is, for what i want, perfect. EG i set the watch to lap every KM (and also to alert me every KM). When uploaded, the website shows a breakdown of the time, elevation, HR etc etc for each lap, making comprisons very easy. The map of the route loads very quickly, as do charts showing HR, speed, pace etc. It shows very clearly all of the runs/activities, making historical comparisons very easy, and to monitor progress/improvement.
The battery life seems very good, and the alert to tell you the battery's low, gives a fair amount of notice. The wrist strap is very robust, but can be changed if necessary.
Overall, i'm pleasantly surprised at how good this is, and the fact that i actually use all its functionality.
I would highly recommend this product.