I'm 27 now and my mom went back and forth between traditional homeschooling and unschooling. There were six of us and the little kids were definitely unschooled and then as they moved into grade school there was a lot more structure to help nail down specific skills (although curriculum was always individually tailored to each child's learning style/needs) and then once we got older, we pretty much dictated what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. It worked really well for me personally although my brother (now 22 in college) says he felt unprepared for higher education academically and my other brother (now 24) said he felt unprepared socially when he chose to go to public high school in his sophomore year although he admits to being able to learn MUCH better in the homeschooled/unschooled environment. (He's dyslexic.)
Like I said, for me personally, it was perfect. I loved being able to look through curriculum catalogs and decide what I wanted to do, we went on LOTS of field trip/explorations which not only taught me a ton, but are precious family memories I'll have forever. I was allowed to play constantly, even when I was older - If the woods looked particularly beautiful that day, we were out building forts and playing outside, even at 14 and older - an age which now is considered "too old" to play. I loved that freedom. I benefited immensely from being allowed to prioritize teaching myself to play guitar - I'm a musician now and those skills have been invaluable. Not to mention being a part of the workings of our home and helping raise my younger siblings. When I found out I was having twins I was ecstatic instead of being terrified!
She also gave me immense confidence when it came to learning... if I wanted to know something, there was no reason why I couldn't know it. That confidence has been invaluable as I've grown and needed to learn new things as an adult. I know I'm capable and I never need a good "grade" to make me feel like my efforts have been worthwhile.
Most of all, I have been instilled with the idea that it is okay to do what is right for your family and your kids, regardless of what the mainstream (or anyone else for that matter) says. We lead a very non-traditional life - my husband is also a musician and also works from home, we don't really do the "dad goes to work, mom stays at home" thing, we take our kids everywhere and are definitely on the unschooling side of the homeschool spectrum. There is NO way I would have been prepared for this life I'm leading without my mom and the awesome experience she helped provide.
With my own children I will make sure to expose them to traditional methods of learning in case they later choose that path for their lives - I think the best way to prepare them for their lives is to provide as broad-ranged experience for them as possible while being sensitive to their responses and needs so that you can tailor their education to what is going to benefit them in the future.
So that's my experience! I've loved reading all of the other posters' experiences too. I know unschooling as we define it now is definitely a newer idea so it's cool to hear from other adults who had a different experience than the traditional homeschooled one you so often hear about.