After much hesitation I went ahead and bought myself Level 1 Japanese from Rosetta Stone. My private studies have been lacking as of late and I really want to buckle down and get serious. I dream of teaching ESL in Japan a year from now. The thought of being illiterate in another country scares me, mainly since I already have a BA in English.
I've been practicing my writing with free worksheets I print off sites that I find via Google along with with "playing" on my DS with My Japanese Coach. I love practicing stroke order on the DS mainly because it will make me re-do if I get it wrong or try to cheat :)
After saving up money for a few months I patiently waited for there to be a sign that I should get Rosetta Stone, that sign came in the form of a sale they had on their website for President's Day weekend. Across the board it is the same price on other online venues so I recommend anyone interested in buying it to get it direct for the company, that way you can have access to support and money back guarantees.
I've only used it a few times thus far, mainly because of midterms consuming my time, but I've gotten more out of it than I have with self-study with textbooks alone. I like how it is interactive in both the visual and audio aspects of it. It had me talking within minutes! Which was kinda intimidating but I soon got over it. Til the summer begins I may only be able to use it 2 to 3 times a week but I feel any time that I use it I am making greater progress than if I tried to study flying solo.