In terms of ease of use, it doesn't get much easier. The pre-amp has a bunch of equalization options as well as gain and a leveler. The compressor is only two knobs, like the LA-2a which it is based off of. I haven't had a need to use the manual, it is easy enough to use if you have any sort of experience with recording and compressors.
I couldn't be happier with overall sound this thing produces. It sounds great on vocals (I'm using a Neumann TLM103) as well as on guitars and drums. For bass I just plug directly in...I have no need for my direct boxes anymore when recording keys or bass, I just use this. The pre-amp is pretty transparent if you run it with no EQ, but I love having the options of boosting or cutting using the pre's EQ.
I've been using the LA610 for about 6 months. The thing I like most about it is that it is a compact channel strip that I can use over and over again for my overdubs. I haven't had any complaints, although I wish there were some 1/4'' connections in addition to the XLRs. I've used all sorts of other Universal Audio products (LA-2a, 1176, LA-3a, etc) and this definitely can hold it's own. If I lost it or broke it I would definitely buy a new one. Being that I work out of my project studio mostly and I am on a limited budget, I couldn't have asked for anything more.