Well after 5 months of having borates in my pool I am 99% happy with the decision to add them. (1% negative explained below) Water clarity is a big plus but I also have not had any occurrence of algae and there were a few times when my chlorine level had dropped to very low levels a few times before I could catch it and supplement with liquid chlorine(high use late summer last year and salt cell was 100% and still could not keep up) and not ANY sign of the green stuff. When that happened pre-borates I had a small amount of bloom to deal with but now no longer! I'm a believer!
Chem Geek - I did take some before and after shots of the water samples to see if there were any differences in meniscus and I could not tell the difference. I will try and track down the before and after water sample pics and post it on the other thread you referenced above when I do.
BUT (I know does there have to be a negative here???)I did find that there is a very small negative for me and with my application of borates. My pool has a spa and my wife and I use it often. The problem I have is that post borates when we would run the spa my wife complained about a bad "chemical" smell in the air while we are in the spa then later when exiting the spa the same smell on her skin. And while I smell it too, she is my control since as the good husband I am I NEVER told her I did the borate addition. She has no idea I did it and still does not know. She complained about it initially right after I added the borates and I just blamed it on the salt water generator being left on (I have to manually turn it off when the spa is turned on or else it will continue to generate chlorine in now a closed loop spa which isn't needed) But subsequent times she continued to smell the chemical smell and I just shrugged and said I don't know? I later bought some InSaprations spa scents (non oil based but does have Proplyene Glycol) to pour into the pool during the spa visits to mask the smell so that she's not complaining any more. There was no other change to the water chemistry when I added boarates and never had this chemical smell before. With normal swimming in the pool we did not notice any smell with the pool water but for some reason when the water is heated up there was a chemical "smell". Is it enough to say it's a negative. Maybe not for most people since if you don't have a spa this would be a non issue but just something to note if you have a spa with your pool the heat must have some sort of reaction with the borates and give off the chemical smell both in the air and on our skin.
Pool built in August 2013 and have had it BBB since day one. Pool has never seen a chlorine puck ever. I control the chemicals myself and keep the measurements fairly steady as follows: