I bought this bike a cheap, hopefully reliable, run-about which I could use during the summer months to get me to work and the occasional run at the weekend. I'd previously owned a Hornet 600 and Bandit 600, so thought I'd try Kawasaki for a change (my nearest dealer is Kawasaki so it made sense).
At £1900 for a 4000 miler 03, bought privately, so a decent price. First impressions are pretty good, certainly not as good a handler as the Hornet but on par with a Bandit. One thing it does have is loads of low down torque - this bike will happily run from walking pace in 2nd or 3rd gear, making it a relaxing bike to ride. If you tried this on most middleweights, they wouldn't be happy, except the old Fazer 600, which has the best engine of the bunch. It's only got five gear and to be honest there's little point revving it past 6000rpm - if you're in a hurry this is the wrong bike for you!
It seems to carry it's weight very well and with the low seat height is a very easy bike to ride. In terms of maintenance it should be a doddle - air cooled and 8 valves. Good fuel consumption too (50+ mpg). Cheap to insure. It was also sold in the US for while, so parts are never going to be a problem.
Build quality if pretty good, but I have serious doubts about using this bike over the winter - it doesn't look nearly as winter resistant as say the Hornet. The engine in particular look prone to corrosion. Stainless pipes look good though.
Another aspect I like is the looks. In blue, it looks great. Putting aside preconceptions about it's performance (not up there with the Fazer and Hornet), for me it's the best looking middleweight. None of the watercooling / plumbing you get with most of the other contenders and I'd say it's better looking than the Bandit (just).
So if you're after and low maitenance, good looking, cheap to run and buy, "proper" sized, slightly cumbersome run-about, this might be worth considering.