azmatt wrote:I didn't have much interest in the 501 but two months ago I took 401 with Eric Cole and did indeed have a blast. 501 is now on my wish list as well.
I think pretty much any SANS conference is going to be awesome. I was only at the recent Orlando conference over the weekend for an exam, but the energy and enthusiasm was off the charts. I'm definitely rethinking shelling out the money for a live course; the networking opportunities may be more valuable than the core course material.
Also, I have three or four books for 501 because I've written some questions for the exam. I thought the 401 material was rudimentary (which is fine if you're starting out), but the 501 material was pretty solid. It definitely seems like a worthwhile course that has content you can't scrap together in a few general books.