I have a pair of the original pliers... I think they changed them a bit since the first set, but I'm not sure. They did take some getting used to, but I use them constantly! At first, I pushed a little too hard so if the snap was off center, the stem part would squish to one side making it hard to snap. Now I am better at centering and have a gentler hand with it.
It took quite a bit of use to figure it out to the point I don't mess them up anymore, but it was functional from the start, I just had to redo snaps occasionally (and they're a pain to get off!) or shave off excess plastic if they were difficult to snap due to being off center. I'd definitely recommend them though.... I hate velcro dipes and love being able to add snaps cheaply! I have even done some snap conversions with them... difficult on back-opening pockets, but JUST BARELY possible.
BirthFree--sent you a PM! I haven't started making diapers for the little one yet, but I'm planning on making smalls that snap down to newborn size for now. Mostly covers with a couple of pockets for the diaper bag. Once I get the OK from DH I am going to buy lots of bamboo fleece to make extended tab prefolds... those will be half of my newborn/small stash. The other half is flats I already have.