Sound — 7
I'm using this with a Squier Affinity Fat Strat and Peavy Backstage amp. They both aren't very good at all but the Boss DS-1 livens up my tone a lot. The effects are good unless you turn the tone knob all the way down or up or something. I like to lower my amps volume a tad and turn the level up on the DS-1, because it gives a more defined tone. I play stuff like The Who, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and some other classic rock stuff. The DS-1 covers most of what I play, but I'm not obsessed with sounding exactly like an artist and prefer to find my own tone, so if you're the guy Who wants to sound exactly like Jimmy Page this isn't for you.
Overall Impression — 8
I play Classic Rock, and it's a pretty good match. I use my Boss ME-50 mostly now though, because I can get a much wider variety of tones with it. I've only been playing for about 5 months and don't own much other gear besides what I've mentioned previously and a tuner. If I lost it I wouldn't buy it again, because my ME-50 has the DS-1 on it, and it sounds better. I like the price tag on it a lot and hate the battery life. I couldn't really say what my favorite feature is, because there's nothing out of the ordinary on it. I chose this one purely for it's price tag, because I didn't want to blow all my money on a single effect pedal. There's not much more to wish for on it with a $50 price tag, so yeah I'd recommend this to someone in need of a cheap reliable distortion pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 6
The Boss DS-1 seems to be very durable, but I'm pretty careful with it. I took some points off because the battery life isn't too great (you have to shell out an extra $25 for the adapter, which unfortunately isn't as durable as the DS-1). The effects sound horrible when the batteries are dying too. I would gig without a backup, but I'd be sure to take a couple of 9 volts with me.
Ease of Use — 8
It's very easy to operate. With only 3 knobs I can't see how you couldn't figure out how to use it. The manual explains everything if you couldn't figure anything out (and I'd be very surprised if you didn't) and also gives some tones like British punk, hard rock, etc.