I think it's great for UK students, as A levels are changing all the time, but the IB is a constant which universities over here prefer,now they actualy know about it (which they didn't until about 4 yrs ago... at least not widely...)
I still can't believe I need 39pts to get into Oxford... I'm going to die... or end up in manchester polytechnic or summink...
^_~ well, i feel i benefited from the experience, barely sneaking in to snatch my diploma...but the UK appreciates the coursework far more for Uni. I'm in the States, and there are hardly any universities or colleges that appreciate all the higher thinking, hard work (or just long work) and community service you put in. they actually put it on par with a lesser exam, the AP. so if you're in the States, I'd only recommend it for your own sake, and make sure to do research if you want college creds from it. i love what i got from it, but didn't get much aid for my uni. ^_^
I think that the IB really helped me be prepared for college/university coursework. I feel like I am better able to think through problems and write essays and manage my time than if I had gone through a "normal" high school curriculum.
But IB probably hurt me in terms of the advanced credit I got in college. The only subject in which my IB classes placed me ahead was in French. If I had taken Advanced Placement classes instead of IB, I would have received more credit in more subjects.
So, generally, if you are interested in learning more, IB helps, but if you are interested in getting more credit for college, IB hurts. (At least, in the United States.)