I would definitely recommend Power Mandarin Accelerated because it's fast, it's amazingly easy, it's enjoyable and really effective.
My boyfriend's family is from China and I have struggled with Pimsleur (too few words to really communicate) Rosetta Stone (cost a fortune and makes me guess) and other methods.
None of them gave me the portable audio, the English speaking instructor and the native Mandarin speaker who taught me how to create my own sentences - I mean - speak my own thoughts in basic Mandarin in a way that Chinese people understand and without one bit of confusion.
What I like best about Power Mandarin is the speed, the simplicity of it all, the creative way the program is laid out, the memory review, the Audio Snapshot previews, the opportunity to hear the language spoken at different speeds, adding one word here and one word there to avoid overwhelm. Love it!
My favorite scene is where I get to say I want to eat. I love Chinese food. I noticed that this program uses real Mandarin Chinese, because they usually say the word for "eat" followed by the word for "food" or "noodles". This made me sound really fluent even when I wasn't.
No way would I recommend using Power Mandarin all in one sitting. This program is meant to be used whenever you have time and wherever you happen to be at the moment. The extreme portability of Power Mandarin is one reason I wanted to try it out, and for $19.00 bucks, it's a real gem.
Real instruction, real practice, real results. There's no BS here people. This program is the real deal and you'll thank me for recommending it to you.