Yay me, I just passed the MSF course!
I suggest that every beginning rider take it! If not for any other reason, then take it for fun. And make no mistake, fun it is! Before this, I never rode a motorcycle. I sat on some, but never rode one. So obviously, my motorcycling skills were, as much as i would have wished otherwise, non-existant. MSF showed me, step by step, all the basics, from the beginning. We started with pointing all the controls out... clutch, front brake, throttle, kill switch, turn signals, horn, shitf lever, read brake, fuel valve, etc. It started out very basic, but soon got into some good riding. Soon, we were doing all sorts of S-turns, weaving between cones, doing power stops, practicing wheelies (just kidding about that last one :P )! They gave me all the brain-tools that I need to survive in traffic. What they taught is not easily learned on your own, so I don't recomend blowing it off. So, besides learning how to ride a motorcycle, I had a shitload of fun!! It was a two day thing, and after the first day, I could hardly sleep, cuz I was looking foreward to the second day so much!
So there's my little praise of the course. Oh... also, you get insurance discounts, and they told me that some shops give discounts on gear if you took the MSF. So if you're new, you DEFINETELY have to take it, no question about it.