I got a Brooks saddle last August for my commuter bike. I typically ride 4-5 miles a day to work and back plus errands now and then, so nothing major. I had some soreness after the first few miles (bruised sits bones), which lasted maybe a week. After that, it's been comfy as can be. I didn't ride all winter, so I would say I've put fewer than 500 miles on it and there are now definite indentations from my sits bones, but honestly, it didn't take that long to be comfortable. I only applied one coating of proofide at the beginning, so I didn't do anything much to make the break-in process faster. It just wasn't that bad. I've read elsewhere that the leather they use nowadays isn't as firm as in the old days, so they're easier and quicker to break in (I guess the flip side is that they don't hold up as well), so I think a lot of the horror stories are outdated. So, my advice would be to give it a try. I hear that if you order from Wallingford Bikes you get six months to test it out and can then return it, no questions asked. I'd prefer to support a local business, but hey, if being able to return it convinces you to try it, I say go for it.