I had an Ember (first version) for some years and was very pleased with it. I eventually gave it to my nephew as an introduction to RC. The Ember is, I believe , the ideal model for beginners as long as they either fly indoors or can be persuaded to wait for near still conditions outside. But recently I bought a somewhat similar model, the Mini Indoor Plane, from Hobby King:
At $37au despite another $24 shipping, this model is remarkably inexpensive, especially when compared to the local Australian price of an Ember - $130, without a transmitter! When they are available.
Several other of our indoor members have also bought this model and their conclusions, and mine, are very positive. It is heavier at 30 grams but has a more powerful 8mm geared motor to compensate. Many will recognise the similarity in airframe to the Microstik, but the wing is made from thinner, more flexible Depron and is braced with carbon fibre rods. The brick is also very different from the Microstik's with two conventional servos (similar to the ultra-reliable HK-5320 Ultra-Micro Digital Servo 1.7g) and with additional open channel sockets - perhaps ailerons could be added?
We have found that the model is quite well built and flies very well. Worth checking out for beginners,