Automated rigs - pros and cons

I'm working with a refurbished rig which has the NOV automated derrick system. We've suffered significant downtime during June (half a million dollars worth) and the previous operator suffered a lot more than that. Conversations with others leads me to think that these automated rigs are more trouble than they're worth and I would personally put a black marker against them in a tendering exercise on grounds of cost.

What I want to know is what you all think of these rigs? If you've used them, do you believe that the extra dayrate gives you a worthwhile benefit / is neutral / increases overall costs? Do you think that these systems increase safety to the extent that we should be willing to pay extra for them?

I'd like anecdotal replies (stories) but if you have actual numbers showing how much downtime / cost suffered with a particular rig or rigs, that'd be great.

I want to write an article for the oilfield press about this, kick off a debate on the topic.

Thanks, Steve.
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