First let me say that I love our cloth diapers. I love the big tushy they give Teagan and how cute and colorful they are. In comparison, disposables look like toilet paper to me. I didn't really anticipate that I would feel that way, but there it is. So, I am starting with a pic of Teagan in her light green bum genius one size diapers.
Okay, as far as the cloth diapering experience in general, I'll start there. First I went with one size diapers that adjust via snap (bum genius) or elastic (fuzzi bunz) as your child gets bigger. As a result, I had to use disposables until my daughter got to about 9 lbs, which was a while for us since she was born just under 7 lbs. Once we started, things went well. Both kinds of diapers have small inserts for when your baby is little and big inserts for when they grow, so we started little. Initially, I was doing a load of laundry a day, but after about a month, that went to one every other day (I have about 25 diapers). Note: I change her ALOT, probably more than most because I tend to hate the idea of wet soggy bottoms but most people say this many diapers can get you through 2 days at least before you need to wash.
Things to be aware of with cloth diapering: you want to buy good detergent that won't damage them. My favorite is Country Save which I buy online in boxes of 4. Its cheap, safe for the environment and very very mild. Also, if you are going to cloth diaper, don't buy traditional diaper creams. You can only use them if you put a liner between the cream and the diaper, instead, I've used Grandma El's diaper remedy, which I love. In fact, I haven't had to use any at all since the very beginning when Teagan was allergic to the first detergent I used. Since then, not a single rash until this awful yeast one from the formula. Also, be aware that cloth diapers (whichever kind you choose) are bigger than modern disposables so you may want to buy bottoms slightly bigger than tops when you buy clothes (I worried about this because I didn't realize it until much later but we honestly haven't had much of a problem since baby clothes are usually so stretchy, the only problems I've had are with non-stretchy materials, which I think I have 2 or 3 bottoms of).
Here is my experience: I really like the Bum Genius diapers we bought. My husband is willing to use them, the daycare at the YMCA is willing to use them and they don't need a lot of explaining if I have to leave her with my mom. They work exactly like a disposable, with velcro and all. There have only been a few leaks and they were mainly caused by Teagan growing out of the newborn inserts and mommy refusing to believe it, so hanging on to the little inserts against her better judgement. As soon as I changed to the regular inserts (which snap up to be made smaller with the smaller size), the leaks stopped. The colors are great. Her giant tushy is so cute. There is, however, one drawback...the velcro. The very thing that makes these so convenient is the very thing that concerns me in terms of longevity. So far, I've followed the rules and they are hanging in there, but one of the main selling points to my husband was that cloth diapering saves a lot of money, so the idea was to have these work through potty training. I am skeptical that they will. I might be proven wrong, but I'm still skeptical. Velcro just isn't that long lasting. But its so darn convenient! Anyway, if this is a concern for you, look into the fuzzi bunz diapers (I have a few and LOVE THEM, maybe equal to, maybe better than the bu.m genius), which are snap closure or look into the new bum genius snap diapers.
Other concerns - with the All-In-One (AIO) diapers, you get a water wicking liner right against your baby's tushy and the inserts are usually made of microfiber, which is super absorbent. However, if you've ever used high performance fabrics at the gym or outdoor sports, you know that these fabrics have a tendency to retain odor. It took me a while to figure it out but you need to add an extra rinse cycle at the end of your washing and then once a month or so add a little (less than 1/4 cup) of bleach to the hot cycle (this is actually recommended by the makers of bum genius, on their website). This is a problem with both brands that I use but has been fixed now that I'm cognizant of the issue.
Also, don't waste money on an expensive diaper pail. Buy a cheap one with a few diaper pail wetbags (I use ones by planetwise that are great). When it is time to wash, I just pop the bag inside out into the washer, throw the bag in with it and clean it all...as a result, I have 2 of these wetbags (which are apptly named, I guess, though you don't need to put any detergent, deodorant or water or anything in with the diapers so they aren't wet from THAT or anything).
I also have a few prefold diapers that I use mostly as burp cloths but when I want to air teagan's tushy out (like the last few days with this yeast rash), I've been using them without a cover for breathability. They are handy for that but I know hubby would never use these and they aren't nearly as absorbent and the minute they get even a drop wet, Teagan lets me know (also handy for the yeast thing, but overwhelming regularly I am sure).
Last, I've used homemade cloth diapers that someone gave me that have a snap closure, are very absorbent and have an insert that snaps directly against the bottom (the all-in-ones you have to stuff the insert into the diaper and under the liner, these just snap in on top of the diaper and against your baby's tush). I didn't love them. They seemed to leak a lot but that was probably this particular one (which seems popular here, I happened to have one it in the baby expo grand prize thing).
I hope this was informative. I get the feeling I've left a TON out of what I intended but I started the post, ran to the gym, and then finished it, so I absolutely lost my train of thought. If anyone who uses other brands wants to chime in, please comment. I can only speak of the ones I've used. Overall, I love the diapers I have. So far, they have definitely hung in there and have been amazingly easy to use. I've heard that they have lasted through one child to over 2 years and then were used with a second child, so I'm probably being unusually harsh on the velcro and I will be nicely surprised but I didn't want to steer anyone wrong.