I would qualify myself as a serious recreational player. I just got back into table tennis recently, and had been playing with the basic paddles that you get when you buy a table. I decided if I planned on seriously improving my game, I should just buy a quality paddle and learn with it rather than having to readjust later. I'd spent some time learning the basics with the generic paddles, so I had a decent idea of how to do fundamental strokes. The amount of control and spin I can get with this paddle vs. the generic ones is amazing. Again, I'm definitely a beginner, but I take my practice seriously, and this paddle REALLY upped my game. It won't make you instantly better if you're not willing to practice, but if you are, it gives you the ability to do so much more with your shots. Many reviews I read stated that it's too heavy, but for me it's not that bad. It is definitely slightly heavier than other paddles I've tried, but I don't think it takes away from the paddle. In fact, I think the heft helps with the feel of the hits. It doesn't vibrate at all when I'm returning shots. Just good smooth hits. My wife was unsure of whether a paddle would be worth spending over $20 on, but now that she's tried mine, we had to order her own Killerspin Jet paddle!
John the Teacher