When I viewed this version of the Harper Collins Study Bible online I didn't notice that the margins are very, very narrow. If you like to make your own notes in the margins (like I do), this version may not be for you. I believe there are other versions of the Harper Collins that have wider margins (the Student Edition may fit the bill). This one is heading back to CBD.
The study notes in this Bible are quite helpful and honest. The collection of scholars probably cannot be beat. This resource is a great compliment to the HarperCollins one-volume Bible Commentary. Some of the scholars appear in both resources but the approach is completely different for each. Many of the scholars are different and it's interesting to compare viewpoints. I'm using both right now to study the book of Kings (1&2 Kings). I think the helpfulness of the notes in the Study Bible (by Robert Wilson) are stronger than those in the Commentary (by Richard Nelson). They are definitely different. Of course, whenever there are two different commentators (frequent in these resources) one will be more helpful than the other.
This Bible is a great resource for information. The layout is basic with notes at the bottom, text on top. The notes themselves are short but to the point and include some good information. This is a balanced Bible that it presents most of the interpretations. This is because it's done by the Society of Biblical Literature. (That's also the reason I call it the Premier NRSV Study Bible.) HarperOne is the publishing arm of the NRSV and if you go to the official NRSV website (www.nrsv.net) it is the only direct study Bible listed. Quality is good as well -- while it is a hardcover, it seems to have a leather lining on the inside of the covers which is a nice touch. It is fairly noticeable that the binding is glued however and that could prove to be an issue over the years, but the glue looks very thick. If you love the NRSV because of its style and ecumenical nature as I do, then this is a must have study edition!
First and foremost, this study bible comes from a liberal theological background. While the scholarship is good, evangelical Christians might find the book very difficult to handle. It's intended audience is upper level students and professionals. However, it is a good study bible for what it offers.
Second, Christianbook is top notch for customer service. The first copy of the HCSB I received was defective and they not only refunded the return shipping but quickly sent the new copy.
If you're looking for the liberal side of Christianity to round out a seminary education, this bible is manditory.