I've owned Zero Tolerance, Benchmade, Cold Steel, Boker, and quite a few lower end models. I was skeptical about spending $80 on a Buck, but here's my review.
The blade. The knife came right out of the box hair removing sharp. The serrations are not pointed, but kind of rounded on the edges so i was surprised at that. After cutting some cardboard I'm impressed. Normal serrations that are more pointed seem to bind up on long cuts, but not these. The steel is Bos treated S30V so what I've done with it in the short time I've used it has had no effect on sharpness. The dull black finish is nice, and all markings are perfect. As marked on the blade, this knife is made entirely in the USA. The thumb cutout won't be very useful if you have large digits. That's what the silky smooth flipper is for though. All grinds and shapes to the blade are clean and perfectly uniform. The length is 3 1/4".
The handles. I've never seen G10 so beautifully cut. My ZT's grips look amateur in comparison, and my Rift's grips look cheap. The design looks like somethin you'd see in an Aliens movie, but it's very comfortable, grippy, and like I said earlier, gorgeous. The grips fit the knife perfectly. There's no overlap anywhere, and the integrated Buck logo is a nice touch.
The liner. The liner locks up with the same authority as my ZT which is damn impressive. It's actually more impressive considering the blade is much smaller and lighter. The brushed stainless finish accents the blue and black very well. Everything fits perfectly and when closed, the blade is perfectly centered between the liners. There's also a spacer on the back of the knife. Buck claims it's for strength and I don't doubt it helps. That same spacer is what the reversible pocket clip attaches to on the bottom of the knife. It sits really deep in the pocket which I really like.
Overall. I have a new favorite EDC. Buck really hit one out of the park with this, especially for the price. Everythin fits perfectly, and the finish is amazing. The blade is sharp right out of the box, but I haven't had to sharpen it yet so I'm waiting to see how that goes. At around $85, this knife rivals others costing twice as much. Now I'll see how it holds up over time. My only complaint was the grease under the pocket clip which caked my work khakis the first time I slipped it in my pocket.
I have 4 Buck Vantage knives, 2 Vantage Pro's with S30V blades, and a Paperstone model and a Select model. They are very comfortable knives with great blade shape etc, I love mine.