Watching it as at 17 I must admit that it is a good product that has the strengths of the genre but has none of the major weaknesses that you would associate with something like Barney. Bear is actually quite a warm character and he has a bit of personality behind him rather than just churning out phrases and corny clichés. The fact that the other characters are pretty good also helps as, although they are cute of course, they are not so sickly that I ever feared becoming diabetic from just watching it. It has a nice warm feel to it and Bear approaches the audience like a kindly Uncle rather than doing patronising baby talk. It isn't quite Sesame Street but it has more of that feel than the dreaded dinosaur. The characters all look good and are well delivered (although Shadow as an idea is just plain creepy if you ask me) and the voice work matches it all well.
Overall this is an enjoyable show for pre-school kids that can be watched by adults without getting annoying in the way that some others do. Like I said, not Sesame Street but effective nonetheless.