If you want features, this extension definitely blows the others out of the water. Most everything seems to work, and the complement of supporting modules and plugins will be enough to satisfy most people. The developer is very active on the forums, and I know he's put a ton of time into it, so kudos to him for that.
However, if it does NOT support a feature you need, or you want to customize something not offered in the backend config pages, you will tear your hair out trying to augment it. I suspect this is because it was originally built for J! 1.0 without any MVC thought. Without proper MVC structuring, there's no way to override -- you'll have to hack one of the 2800-line unorganized PHP files.
The template customization is a great feature and will probably save more inexperienced users lots of time, but for webmasters that are used to using MVC template overrides and keeping your styling in one place (as the Joomla team intends it), it's more harm than help. Templates are stored in the database tables, not files, which means lots of copying and pasting code back and forth into your text editor or IDE (and no version control). And some things are inexplicably hard-coded outside the realm of the template editor, which means you're almost definitely going to have to do some of the aforementioned component file hacking.
If you're not a technical person and are looking for a plug-and-play downloads manager, or are willing to wade through the developer's code to change things, this is probably the one for you. But if you plan on heavy customization, go with an extension that adheres better to good Joomla extension development practice.
thanks for your review.
A complete new version for Joomla 1.6/1.7 is in work and used MVC structure.
The one glaring oversight is the inability to show the contact's image (I use headshots for all my contacts).
The only other complaint/suggestion I have is that this would be a ton more useful with an accompanying plugin that would include contacts in articles.
Overall, great job.