Thanks Alicia and Dave!
Well, the SpeakOut series is very new so no wonder not many have experience with it yet. My first impression is that it is a carefully designed modern coursebook but not exceptional. The e-book is not outstanding but will allow our teachers and students to use multimedia in and outside of the classroom more easily if they wish to do so. Looking at the topics, there are no surprises but it is geared a bit more towards practical use of the language and fits quite well with our students' wants. The rest is up to the teachers and their classes. Taking all the factors in our institution into account, the series fits well with our general English courses so I've decided in favor of it. It might not in other context. I'll be able to say more at the end of the next semester :-)
I don't want to start the coursebook debate again really. Enough has been said on different lists and blogs. I really don't get coursebook vs no coursebook or tech/no tech debates. I'm happy if I have access to various resources and can decide in each case which to use or not to use. I have "dogme" classes, classes in which we use technology and every possible variation in between. It's not the tools that make classes boring or interesting, it's the people in the room.