Sound: I play all kinds of metal and this guitar works better than ones I've had in the past. I think of it as two guitars in one: a standard tuned 6 and a de-tuned 6. I can still jam on old, 80s thrash, but then get brutal on the low B for some death metal riffs. The low B is also good for adding depth to chords, which I use more for Prog style tunes. I don't play jazz and I don't detune this beast, so I can't say it'd work for those styles (fusion or numetal, though I hate both).
I've been running through a Mesa Dual Rec that I just sold, but I've never been satisfied with the lack of punch and tightness from the Rectos. I'm in the market for a Mesa Mark IV (lemme know if you have a lead) and I think that should tighten up the sound a bit. That, or possibly a VHT (I hear those new Deliverance heads are brutal). So for right now, I'm playing it out of a Line6 SpiderIII. I'm not huge on those modeling amps, but the tone is decent and the Spider is better for my smaller apartment. Running the signal out of the Spider and through a Mesa 4x12 does wonders for the tone, which is what I do. Back to the Hellraiser...
Noise is minimal (partial from the amp) and like I said before this guitar shines on chords. Lead work is ok, but I am finicky and change my tones all the time.
I don't have much variety (outside of genres of metal) so I can't comment on the versatility of the guitar. It does, however, absolutely crush for metal \m/!
I don't play live, so it sees little road wear. It is built like a tank, though, and I can't forsee any physical problems with the guitar (an amp is more likely to break down).
I've been playing for 9 years and this guitar is one of the best setup ones I've owned. If it were lighter, that'd be great. The rest of the minro flaws I see are things that will be better with my playing and maybe some set up tweaks, i.e. playing faster (people, including me, always blame the guitar). I wish I had another one in that sick trans red color they make. Two twin terrors.
Bottom line: If you like to play metal and want a 7 string you can buy one of these or an Ibanez. They differ in style of playing, technique: muscular and monstrous vs. thin and agile. It's like another debate I'm having about getting a new car: V8 Mustang vs. 3.5L 350Z. Both guitars are capable of playng shredding, brutal metal, but not if your playing style doesn't match the guitar.