I think the FileMaker Training Series is a bargain at $20 for the download version. If you want the printed tome, the extra $20 is probably cheaper than most people could print it out themselves. There are demo files and videos included with both as well.
I have also gone through most of the Lynda.com stuff by Cris Ippolite and have found that quite valuable as well. If you have the time and budget for it, the Lynda.com stuff is pretty easy to go through. Reading through the FTS can get a little dry at times, so it's been nice to go back and forth between the reading and the Lynda.com videos.
That's been my experience. YMMV. I feel like I am ready to take the certification exam… but I have no real reason to at this point… Maybe if I wanted to go after more freelance work, but as an in-house developer, there isn't much of a case for getting the certification. If $150 were pocket change, then I'd do it just to say I'm certified.
I should also add that the FMP help system is incredibly useful as well for those times when you just need that little nugget of info about a script step, calc function, etc.
Thanks for your input.
Great! Thanks for your help.