I have the 690, and am fairly disappointed with some aspects:
1. It's massive - if you wish to stick a whole lot of hardware inside the case, then that's fine, but otherwise there's really no point in a case this large.
2. It's loud - or at least not quiet. The mesh panels on the top and front, while good for circulation, also do nothing to muffle the sound of the fans. I also chose a Palit graphics card which turned out to have a fairly loud fan, and the case does little to reduce the sound.
3. The On/Off / Reset buttons - these spring loaded buttons require a lot of force to press. This is good if you don't want them pressed by mistake, but I have my computer on a small trolley, and I find I have to stop it from moving whenever I press either of the buttons.
4. Cable routing - I have a Corsair VX450 power supply, and the cables, which are routed between the rear of the motherboard panel and the black outer panel on the right side do not allow for the black outer panel to be closed properly. You have to press hard, and the panel is still warped by the cables. I'm not an expert on cable routing, but this is how I got it from the PC shop to begin with, and I couldn't see any better way of routing. There's also the general feel of the panels (left and right) - they just don't have a quality feel to them. The left side panel sits well in the end, but there's no real rail to help it slide into place. Placing the right side panel required bending the small tabs ,which hold it in place, with a screwdriver.
That said, much of the disappointment is my fault, as I told the PC shop I wanted a well ventilated case, but did not stress that I also wanted it to be silent.
The case itself also comes with two 120mm fans @21dB each (front and back), and has room for lots more fans (one 120 bottom, two 120/140mm top, two 120/140mm left side), so it's probably possible to get super silent fans and quiet it all down. This, of course, will only be possible if you pick your CPU cooler and GPU cooler accordingly!
I also find the ports on the top of the case pretty handy (headphone, mic, 2xUSB). There is also one firewire port and one eSATA port on top, but I haven't used them, personally.
It's huge and loud, but has awesome airflow. Infact, some of the best airflow I've seen. Despite what the other guy said, the cable routing works extremely well. Whoever built your PC at the shop just honestly didnt care, otherwise things would have been done alot better. (I've used this case numerous times, as I work in a PC shop and only send out shoddy cable management when the customer is harrasing me for time.)
The buttons are hard to press, so they're not accidentally going to trip if you keep your pc on the ground. But most people will be leaving their pc on anyways, so it's not a huge letdown.
The sidepanels arent the highest quality, which was suprising, but since I generally shove a warranty sticker over them, they're only coming off and going on once. So if you're constantly swapping parts or tweaking internally, go for something else.
Also, If you go with this case, I'd suggest a few things. There's this case on the egg with an included real power pro PSU, that fits in perfect for cable management and airflow.
If you're going for silence, pick up coolermasters new liquid cooled setup. It's decently simple to install, and I've not had a single problem with them. But the great thing is they're built to fit into this case and a few other coolermaster cases perfectly. With that, you can skip almost all of the fans that cause so much noise and just throw in a decent 120mm right over the graphics cards (And there's a fan spot already there, so no drilling needed).
Lastly, dont use IDE drives in this case. They just will not fit into the hard drive sleds.
This case both looks and performs beautifully, specially if you pick up water cooling or if you use loud headphones.
I have had people say antec 300, but then I also hear its a cheap tin can that is load, even the 200mm fan on top is load and the fan blades break.
I thought a case with a top fan will be loader then a case that doesnt, just in the front and ou the back with air?
This case decision is killing me, every time I think Im close, I get hammered.
The 690 has SO Many great reviews, not just new egg peops,
YES it can be LOUD, but i have Fan controler so it is QUIET when need and loud when needed too.
Air flow is awesome for the price, and ++++ the bottom fan throw air DIRECTLY to my 9800GTX+ intake ! my GTX+ runs at under 50c FULL load ( its OCed to 800mhz)
My rc-690 is FULLY loaded with fan. 5x120mm and 2x140mm + one 80mm under Mobo. Pretty quiet when idling, im gaming with BIG headset so no matter the noise it can make when i game, but the loudest part is the 9800gtx+ and my CPU cooler (equipe whit a minityphoon 92mm aftermarket 4500rpm fan that i run at 2000 idle and 2800 gaming)
I'm an Antec man myself and personally own a P160, NSK2480, and prolly soon the 300. That said, last Christmas my lil' bro wanted a new case and asked for the 690. We ended up getting it for him and I helped him install his hardware. I was quite impressed with it. Despite the numerous amount of fans (we also added another) the case still seemed quiet enough for me. Still if you get a disk drive mounted fan controller that should help with any noise you get. As far as Cable routing goes seems to me cable routing is as good as a person makes it. If you want good cable routing you can get it despite what case you have. Sure some cases make that easier but you still be needing to get extensions, cable ties, and other stuff no matter the case. I'm getting the 300 for a LAN box but if I had to choose between the 690 and the 300 for my home computer I would get the 690.