FUCKIN LANGUAGE AND SHIT
I got through the first level of German, which will run you about $180 for the newest version. It gave me a leg up on pronunciation for sure. Saying the same words over and over out loud really helps. Especially with the umlauts (ü ö ä) there to throw you off when you first start. I also had a general idea of how verb declension worked, as well as a basic vocabulary to work with.
Nevertheless when I was in Germany, speaking and being spoken to was still tough. Rosetta Stone doesn't have you actively recalling the language you are trying to learn enough of the time. The program made me feel confident in my German, but I couldn't do anything useful with it other than understand sentences like "the book is laying on the table." Another problem I had with Rosetta Stone was that it didn't teach me much grammar. There are four cases in German, and there's no real way for Rosetta stone to present them to you in a functional way.
When I used the Arabic version of Rosetta Stone at the "language lab" at my school I found it helpful because it helped me learn the new alphabet as well as pronunciation of letters that don't exist in English. However this was used in conjunction with the language class and there was a native speaker of Arabic in the classroom to help.
Please comment and let me know about your personal experience with Rosetta Stone. I'm really interested in what people have to say. Did you think it was effective? Was it worth your money if you personally paid for it? How long did you use it and how often?