I was also in charge of evaluating various products for web automation. I've only been using Telerik Test Studio/VS plugin for 2.5 months (1 of those was evaluation before purchase). I've never done automation before. I previously spent 10 years as a Systems Admin, and decided it was time for a career change.
I will say without a doubt the Telerik team cares about making sure you the product meets your need. I've submitted 5 issues for Test Studio and 1 with the website. One of those issues ended up being a bug that was submitted to the dev team to address. The website issue was corrected by a team member completely rewriting the page within 24 hours of submission.
I have spent more time on these forums and in the User Guide (http://www.telerik.com/automated-testing-tools/support/documentation/user-guide/overview.aspx
) than I care to mention. Heck, I've even answered more than a few questions because this community cares. If I ever stumble on a step, I'm right here searching for an answer. If I submit a question, I make sure to reference as many searches, documentation, and/or sample code as possible.
This is a great product that really simplifies web automation (I promise I'm not employed by Telerik). Of course there are quirks, and some tweaking necessary just like any other product. I've made modifications to my tests to start with. I've learned not all steps are possible without code still (I use quite a bit for business logic). In a month and a half, I've published 5 automations for use by various departments to address regressions and refreshes. Had I used strictly Visual Studio Coded UI or another framework, I'd still be on number one of two.
I know this is a random post, but just had to toss it out there.