I took my sailing lessons on boats with conventional mains, but purchased a 34' Tartan with in mast furling.
We have made two offshore trips and on one encountered significant storm. For a newbie I would have been very nervous trying to reef the main in those conditions, as the squall came up quickly. Howerver with the in mast furler, the sail was brought in within seconds without leaving the cockpit.
Also for me in learning I can change the amount of main up very easily by myself and experiment in different levels of wind. I doubt I would do that with a conventional reefing system (just too lazy)
I am sure there are compromises as there is less sail and no battens, but the advantages at this point in my skill set seem to outway the disadvantages.
I have yet to have any problem with furling or unfurling, but the boat is rel new (2006)