I have a 2002 Bandit600S, black.
I believe they use the 'old' GSXR air-cooled engine (pretty sure that's right). They have cable clutches, a less agressive riding posture (a GOOD thing, trust me), and they are carbureted.
In my opinion, it was the perfect beginner's bike for me. I've gone 17,500 miles, and I'm still learning. The good thing about the bandit is, it only has 76 rear wheel HP, so you almost CAN'T spin out getting on the gas in a corner.
The suspension seems to be the weak point. Everyone (but me) upgrades with new forks or heavier fork oil and a new shock in the back. I'm 5'6", 165 lbs, and I have no qualms about the suspension whatsoever.
I get 40-55 mpg. High range in interstate cruising, low range is around-town hooligan-antic riding.
The Bandit is also a good beghinner's bike, bexuase there's aton of upgrades out there. A ton. You can re-jet the carburetors (easily done with the instructions) and replace the tailpipe for more mid-range push (you have to keep 'er spinning above 6,000 on the tach to tap any useable power). You can also change out the sprockets (as with any chain-driven bike) for more low-end grunt or high-end speed, depending on what you do.
Here's a link to the upgrades guru, Dale Walker: http://www.holeshot.com/bandit/
Did I miss anything, folks?