I am extremely happy with this product. As is my 2 year old daughter who got it from her nanna as a birthday present 2 months ago. Definitely the most favoured gift among the bunch. An extremely valuable tool in the war against toddler wall-drawing! My little artist now concentrates all her vertical artistic efforts on the easel. I haven't found the unprimed wooden legs to be a problem, most of the wood is quite finely plained. And yes, no need to panic when the chalk doesn't seem to take to the blackboard surface. As others have said, you just need to scribble on it with chalk and erase to prrpare the surface.
I am very impressed with the range of height adjustability on this product. It's lowest setting suits my little one perfectly and she is just average height for her age. It's very generous in size and sturdy. Likewise, the storage trays are robust and roomy. There are several paper clamps supplied which come in very handy. However, like everyone else, I felt that it really should come with a roll of paper to get you going. Also, there were several wing nut thingys going spare after I'd put the easel together (which is a 2 person job), and the instructions didn't quite match up with the fitting provided but this really had no impact on the end product, just gave rise to a bit of head scratching and a bit extra time spent searching and reading.
I've found the rolls of easel paper sold at IKEA to be ideal and inexpensive. I already owned non-spill paint tubs from Tesco that look identical to those in the M&D accessories pack available, and they fit perfectly into the paint pot holes in the easel's tray.
I have to say that it's a great sturdy easel. I actually feel that it will be in use for the rest of my daughter's childhood. This has to make it value for money! I most certainly WILL buy Melissa and Doug products in the future.