I just bought a pack of these today and I love them already. Everyone must know about the Rider-Waite cards by now so I won't bore you with details of the pictures, you can see cards from this deck on Aecletic Tarot.com.
The cards themselves are laminated and therefore really glossy, thick and feel delightful to the touch. It also makes them quite slippery to shuffle sometimes. The cards are a nice size and fit in the hand comfortably.
A lot of people have criticised this edition of the Rider Waite collection citing mute brownes and sepia's and lacklustre nature of the pictures - for a time even I thought they were plain ugly, however, on a closer inspection, I really started to appreciate the beauty behind the images. Ok, so there are an infinite number of more aesthetically appealing decks available, and the artwork on these cards sometimes leaves something to be desired, however, I think if you give these cards a chance and take a really good look at them, you will start to find the charm and classic beauty behind them as I did. Even though I've only had them for one afternoon, just looking at each one, I already feel immensely connected to this particular deck. This is now the 6th deck in my collection but I can see it will prob be one of my trusted favourites.
Overall, I think the browns and sepias work well, they are easy on the eye, I don't feel that they are dull or muted but then again, art is a highly personal thing. The cards are easy for beginners to connect to - you can look at a card and immediately start to intuit what the meanings are and most books on the Tarot work with, or are immediately applicable to the Rider Waites.
The book that comes with it is an interesting read but not an essential and the cards really do seem to speak for themselves. Definitely one of my ultimate decks.
IF you prefer vibrant colours but want to stick with Rider Waite images, try the Radiant Rider-Waite (soon to be joining my collection) or if you want a midway between teh Originals and the Radiant, try the Universals which are excellent for meditation as well.