I've always wanted to try them, but when we started having babies we didn't have our own laundry facility. Then the investment scared me--what if we dropped all that cash and I hated them? But I think my mother-in-law has been reading Kelly's inflammatory rhetoric ;), because out of nowhere she started sewing up cloth diapers like mad and mailing them to me. They are fitteds with an internal PUL liner. My oversized three month old wears them, and I also put them on my undersized almost-2-year-old during naps (which, in addition to overnight, is the only time she wears diapers now, woo hoo!). They are comfortably snug in the legs on both kids; I just cinch the Velcro fasteners tighter for Baby Dude. We are only partially operational so far while she sends me small batches of different designs for testing.
--This is a much more intimate enterprise than disposables. I don't know if I could have handled it on Baby 1, but I'm pretty well acclimated to extremely disgusting things by now. Do not attempt without a sprayer that attaches to your toilet, it's too demoralizing otherwise. Yes, yes, we have it so much easier than our mothers. Blessed are they.
--I don't know if I would want to go this route postpartum. My postpartum day looks like this: sitting on the couch, feeding the baby on the couch, napping with the baby on the couch, changing the baby on the couch, getting an older kid to throw away the diaper I just changed. Getting up and rinsing yellow poo out of 97 diapers a day isn't going to fit into that setup seamlessly.
--And it would be 97 diapers because they are always, always wet or worse, even with that PUL liner. Disposables absorb a lot of pee and you don't notice it (sometimes you can't even tell if they're wet). Cloth diapers are always soaked, so you go through a ton of them.
--An overnight disposable diaper is gross. I can hardly imagine how gross an overnight cloth diaper would be considering what they're like after 45 minutes. I'm afraid the carpet would be saturated. I'm not using them overnight. (Or what passes for overnight with my primary test subject.)
--They're very bulky.
--They're very cute.
--But you can't ever see how cute they are, since you always have to put plastic pants over them, since they're (see above) always, always wet. I have one diaper cover from Kushies, and it doesn't work AT ALL (also PUL, I think--can't say I'm too impressed with the stuff). So I'm using those old school Gerber numbers. I don't like them but they keep me from having to change Baby's clothes every time I change his diaper. IMHO, this pretty much shoots down the "breathability" argument you hear for cloth diapers for anyone who can't afford those fancy shmancy wool covers (and do they really work, really? Grandma is going to make one for me to try so I'll let you know). Breathable and dry are mutually exclusive. Grandma notes that PUL is described as a "wetness barrier," not "waterproof." Riiiiiight.
--Costs are going to go up during the winter. I'm relying heavily on line drying now because the sun dries, disinfects, and bleaches free. If the line isn't an option, you have to run the dryer on high heat for a LONG time (and they still aren't bleached). Dryers are the second most expensive appliance to run, so I'm not too keen on that. Church pays our utilities and I don't want to pass on the costs of this scheme. We could throw in an extra check to offset it, but it still bothers me. Nobody likes seeing the bills go up.
--They're very gratifying to use. Disposables always feel so wasteful--those huge boxes of stuff, just tossed in the trash year after year.
--I can't help thinking that if I were a baby, I'd be more comfortable in a disposable that pulls all the wetness away from my skin than a cloth that spreads it over the entire area of the diaper, making me that much wetter. (No results to report on diaper rash, this guy doesn't get it with either. One of our kids had pervasive rash with disposables, but she just has high maintenance skin. There is no doubt in my mind she'd have had rash with cloth diapers, too.) I can't bring myself to be intrinsically scared enough of diaper chemicals to blow off their dry-keeping powers.
So that's my experiment so far. I plan to stick with them on about a 3/4 basis (ie not overnight, for travel, or when we have company) because I have them and don't mind the extra work, but it is a big adjustment. I'm not really clear on why when you Google "cloth diapers" you turn up all these quotes about how people love them so much. This strikes me as another one of those things where the organic parenting community isn't being entirely forthcoming with the facts (cf natural childbirth, breastfeeding, etc.). I don't know why, since openness about the difficulty of these approaches makes self-righteousness that much easier. ;)