I only owned 2 freestyles and both shot great and I didn't have any issues with either. Both were purchased used with an aftermarket LPR (stdp iirc). The closest comparison for me would be a quest and I really like thosw as well. As for efficiency, it's been a while but I'm almost sure it was on par with the dm6 I owned at the time.
Tim it's been a while since I've seen a BL spool thread and didn't want to start a new one...
I was talking about Marq engines when I said I'd shoot them side by side in a week. I bought a closer and a marq 7.
As for FS there are so many variables when talking sound. Tuning on spools with a LPR can make or break it. Using a slick lube, a top hat mod (for DMs), dwell setting, barrel, etc can all play a big part. Blowforwards always have a more poppy sound to me, where balanced always sound muffled which probably has more to do with the exhaust path length more than anything.
bulzeye... I'm curious, do you think a drone is close to the sound of a DM? What about a clone/ droid? Where would you put a quest?