Reporting is still a challenge, even with the OEM from GoodData. There are some nice default reports built-in, but you need to be a DBA to edit those default reports or build anything on your own in GoodData.
Email creation is still a little kludgy. If you want to reuse or edit an email, you need to first create an email template then create an email to send. I understand Pardot is doing some work here to simplify.
Drip logic is less granular than competing solutions like Marketo, i.e. shortest wait time in Pardot is 1 day. In Marketo, I could trigger workflow in an drip program by the minute.
Sync time with SFDC is every 10 minutes. It would be really great to have real-time sync with the CRM.
Pardot's sweet spot right now is small to mid-sized enterprises. If you're part of this demographic and are looking for marketing automation, they should definitely be on your short list. Pardot provides comparable marketing automation functionality to its competitors (lead nurturing, visitor behavior tracking, lead scoring, etc.) in a much more user friendly interface, and with a level of customer service that is sorely lacking at some of these other vendors.
For a SugarCRM user, you don't have many options for marketing automation. Pardot is definitely the way to go for those users. If you're using Salesforce.com, I think there are still unanswered questions as to what happens to Pardot since Salesforce.com acquired ExactTarget/Pardot in June 2013. Product roadmap details are being worked out, so we'll see.
We were able to implement ourselves in 30 days, which included a migration from Loopfuse. The process was very straightforward and Pardot provides good documentation using Basecamp during the implementation phase. Your Pardot implementation specialist is a resource available during your 60 day implementation phase and you can ask any and all questions.
The trainers at the Pardot user conference (Elevate and Connections) were very knowledgeable and presented the material well. Again, the content was targeted to more of a new user audience, and was not really relevant for folks who had been using the product for 2+ years.
Yes, the product was easy to learn if you're the type of person who likes to jump in ang play with a product. The Knowledge Base is very thorough and covers the basics well. However, I think one of the key reasons folks select Pardot is that they do not have a lot of marketing automation expertise. For those users, training is a must.
This is where Pardot really shines. From your initial sales experience to the implementation specialists and technical support, Pardot delivers. I have dealt with a number of Pardashians through my consulting work and every one of them was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and easy to work with.
Overall, the product is very easy to use with a modern, intuitive user interface. There are still a couple of areas where they could improve usability, i.e. email templates/sends (previously mentioned), and the layout templates can be a bit confusing to work with, particularly if you do not code HTML.
There have been a couple of service incidents over the past few months. I'm not sure if it has to do with Pardot integrating their infrastructure with ExactTarget. However, they responded well with proactive communication and a debrief as to what happened.