The Good: Price and spec. Weight - again, for the price, a fully equipped DH rig that tips the scales at about 40lbs is a great find. The Avid Juicy's, once broken in, do their job pretty well. The Marz 888 RV takes big hits without bottoming too easily, same for the Marz coil in the rear. LOVE the Maxxis tires, they hook up very well in a wide variety of conditions - they are a local favorite here. Comfy, soft seat! As far as handling is concerned - yes. The Taka is actually a fairly nimble rig. It goes where you point and will hold the line as the 8 inches of suspension does its job. I like the top-tube length couple with my 55mm stem, I can get "in" to the bike's suspension/sag comfortably - and have plenty of room for body english adjustments through the rough stuff. If flies straight and true, easy to correct your trajectory or style if needed. This is potentially a very fast bike.
The Bad: Not sure there's anything bad per se; but the head angle could be a bit more relaxed. At really high speed, the bike is not as stable. For medium speed riding, it's very good, like for freeriding where you have pick you line over a skinny or bridge or switchback. But at racing speed, its a little more work to keep in on track. Personal preference? Maybe, but most DH bikes lately are spec'd closer to 65 degrees. The bottom bracket is also quite high, getting a bit lower will help keep the center of gravity down, and keep the bike even more stable. The seat - is a very nice seat - comfy and soft, almost a relief sometimes. But for a DH rig, it's a bit overkill. Grips are not the keenest - but again, not a deal breaker and easily replaceable. Understand, these are nits to be picked, not deal breakers.
Overall: I have to disclose: I am a member of Airborne's Flight Crew, which means I do ride a Taka, but I did not pay for it. My comments are as objective as possible. Remember, you are looking at a complete DH rig for just under $1400. Its not the highest-end spec out there, but this bike is hundreds, and other cases - thousands less than its competitors. For that price, you get a brand-new rig. The parts spec'd on this bike reflect the price, but they are capable parts that will get almost any rider through a season of riding, maybe even racing. While the geometry is a bit on the quick side, you do get used to it pretty quick, and since it's a 1.5 head tube, you can run an angle set to tame it back a bit. At this price, the cons list of this bike does not really exist. This bike has no peers to judge it against. A great value for a brand new rig. Easy entry in to DH. Can't really go wrong this bike! I'll be reviewing this bike over the summer as I ride it more and do a few races, you can check the info out at jerryhazard.com