I have an 07 ABS Hornet, which I bought a year old and have now had for 2 years.
The bike is great, uses no oil at all, is light on the tyres, good on fuel, smooth, well built and safe. I think it is the best 600 you can buy. It has never let me down.
The good points for me are the build quality, materials, engineering and safety. The entire bike is made of aluminium, stainless steel and plastic (with very few parts to rust). The bike still looks factory fresh, and there are no issues with any part of the finish. The CBS and ABS are great from a safety perspective, it must be one of the safest bikes about. The engineering is also top notch. Honda have put a lot of thought into the materials of the bike, for example the entire exhaust is 100% stainless steel, and the frame is aluminium. The engine is great, and very powerful for a 600. Don't forget that 600s are at power levels of 1000s+ of a decade ago, so you rarely need more power. Lastly, the seat and bars are very neutral, and easy on the wrists and shoulders, unlike the 600RR.
There are several disadvantages of the bike as well, but they are mainly small faults, rather than actual issues, none of which would make me choose differently.
One fault that becomes apparent after about a week of ownership is the fuelling between 3000-4000 rpm with a steady throttle... it is a bit hit and miss, and there is a characteristic rev-hunt that I think should be addressed. Also, the rebound on the rear shock is a tad harsh. There is a slight howl from the intake manifold at about 3000 rpm that is annoying. Lastly, there is a lack of low-end torque from all 600-4s, also displayed here, but the engine is sweet when you open it up.
Other than that, I think the Hornet makes perfect sense. Not to costly, not too crazy, economical, superbly well built, safe, fun, won't let you down.
Thoroughly recommended, but make sure you get the ABS version.
A friend has a 2009 Aprilia, and the Honda build and finish is superior in all respects. Honda come top in reviews because they make bikes like this.
If I never ride another bike, it would be no tragedy.