I have purchased a few of the new 2013 Castle sets and have to say that I am not really impressed by them. So far I have gotten a couple of the $10 "ambush" sets and one of the typical $30 gatehouse vs. catapult sets from this line. I have to admit, I do like the figures but the building is very juvenile, taking me less than 20 minutes from unboxing to building of the $30 set and I didn't even bother building the $10 ones. While they are very juniorized, they do have some pros to them.
Those being that there are all new head, body, and leg pieces with modernized Lion sigils taken from the classic lion sigil and the red and black dragon knights are quite good in terms of figs. Also, the barding that comes with these sets fits the new horse design which is a plus as there hasn't been any until recently. And if you're not looking to play with the sets, they do come with good castle building pieces to bolster your collection. I participate in the LCC so the new Dragon figs have made an appearance in that so that was one of my reasons to buy them. I dont know about anyone else but since I began building in the Castle theme a couple years ago I realized that from my youth, I didn't collect very many of each castle theme, leaving me with a very small amount of figs/sigils of each faction. Thus I was unable to do large builds with a lot of one kind of faction so from then on I have made sure to collect a bunch of each so another reason for me buying these sets.
The cons for them is the juvenility and lack of originality, just appears to be a way to keep the Castle line going by recreating the $10 army builder, $20 carriage, $30 gatehouse, and $50 "evil" faction hideout/base and $100 castle sets with new figs and sigils but in a way that is a lot simpler in build and piece count. The good thing about this is that it means that Lego is obviously spending more time on the LoTR and Hobbit sets, both of which are very great in fig pieces, weapons, complexity of builds and great colors. Unlike most sets I buy lately which are primarily for figs and more pieces, I actually want to and enjoy building the LoTR and Hobbit sets.
So all-in-all I don't think that we should hate on these sets too much as we have figured out that they are for a younger market while the LoTR and Hobbit sets are meant for the more mature builder and Lego collector, offering sets with more complex building, unique colored pieces, and better figs and weapons. I agree with Coatsy, thank goodness there aren't any of those rainbow colored Knights again