Inflation is quick and simple, even with the cheap foot pump supplied. Deflation is a different story; the 2005 model has "pool toy" valves that require constant pinching to deflate, making it really tough to use a pump to aid in deflation if you're solo. On the plus side, I didn't find it as tough as some other posters to dry out the kayak and once deflated it folds and packs easily into the supplied carry bag.
I don't have much to compare the on-the-water performance with but the boat paddled and tracked pretty well for me with my 45lb. son in the front seat for ballast. Even using the heavy supplied paddles effort was minimal, and I paddled in some VERY shallow water in a local tidal river.
Overall I'd say that this is a great value for the beginner, especially if storage and carry space is at a premium. Even at the retail price of around $350 this isn't a bad boat.
By the way, if anyone knows any tricks for deflating boat chambers with those damnable pool toy valves, I could sure use them!