As you can imagine, this is a big, BIG question at the study groups. I'll be dropping member's feedback here ... check out the comments and feel free to contribute!
(via Amanda W.) Honestly, I think any of the major providers work, the more important thing is your study strategy and the time dedicated. Practicing MCQs and Sims more than anything else, vs. focusing on reading and memorization, etc.
I think practicing MCQs and Sims is a better use of your time than reading and memorizing, at least for FAR because of how much material you have to go through. Best, then, to get self-study material that will allow you to use something like a Study mode (where, after finishing a single Sim or MCQ, even if not done with the set, you will see an answer and explanation). Any that don't allow that are fine if you can take 1 question MCQ or sim with them. The important thing is immediate feedback, which fosters immediate/faster learning.
But, again, it depends on what you want to be your main method of tackling the material. How soon do you want to feel like you're "getting" somewhere. How you want your study objectives organized. What "extra" stuff you want the package to have to help you with your method.
As you can see... it's complicated. I know where you're coming from, though. But honestly, you can succeed with any major CPA package... it's how you use the resources that matter, more or less.
(speaking so big and confidently even though she hasn't even taken the exam yet and is totally not ready for this, haha) - Amanda W.