Where I see the Baofeng UV-5R being useful, is for extremely local simplex communications - maybe with the neighbor one or two blocks over - in a quiet environment.

Programming from the keypad is more difficult than other radios I have used (which admittedly, is not many), but that's easily mitigated by using CHIRP and a cable for programming. I did not find the user interface to be all that bad. Every radio is different, and I didn't judge the Baofeng to be worse than another, just different. Maybe a little more cumbersome, but once you've learned your radio that's not generally a big deal.

The deal breakers for me were two: (1) It just couldn't receive or transmit very well. And (2) Even on max volume, the thing can be difficult to hear.

The Baofeng may be fine for someone who only wants to use it over very short distances. Say, as a replacement for an FRS radio. Note: While you CAN program the Baofeng to operate on FRS frequencies, it is illegal to use it for that (transmitting is illegal, reception is OK though). Personally, I would just buy FRS radios if short range is your goal. That way you don't have to worry about users obtaining ham licenses.

At only about $22 from Amazon, the Baofeng is attractive. I pay that much for a beef brisket with sides dinner at my favorite BBQ place. Usually you will pay more than $22 for just an antenna, or just a battery pack, or just a charger - so the Baofeng is a bargain if you look at it that way. But the gotcha is in performance. At least the example I had (still have) didn't perform well. It could be that their quality control is so all-over-the-place that another example might perform significantly better. My personal experience is that the Baofeng is pretty useless however. I even bough a decent whip antenna for it (a "Super Elastic Signal Stick"). I gave that away to a ham classmate who could not afford a better radio than the Baofeng the club gave us. I knew quite early in testing that I would never be using my Baofeng, so my hope was that her Baofeng was a better example than mine and the antenna would make it even better for her.