The Warrior Esquire X's finish is nice and subdued for a stick. The face of the blade is a glossy black and the graphics are a simple pattern that don't distract. Add a nice light weight and you've got a good starter stick. I'm using a Burrows pattern blade and comparing it to other Warrior patterns I've used (Zetterberg and Gionta) I'd say it's a little tougher to hold the puck as a beginner than using the Zetterberg, and about the same for attempting toedrags as a beginner as the Gionta.
I bought two of them based on the price and have one for ice and one for practice on concrete. I bought two right-hand sticks because I noticed that I could stickhandle much better with my left hand at the butt end of the stick than my right, so the lower price gives me a little more peace of mind if this experiment doesn't work. It's a good fit if you're looking for some cheaper practice sticks. You can get two of them for just a little more than one Vandal.
The only problem I have has been with the finish of the stick in terms of durability. I'm not sure if it's from an errant slash or a puck passed to me that I caught on the heel, but a significant piece of the finish cracked off of the face of the blade at the heel. Being cheaper, it would be expected to wear faster than other sticks at the edge of the heel if you're like me and use the stick as a third point of contact with the ice all the time. I also expected the finish to last a little longer, though. I've taped over the cracked area and called it good for the next game. The odd thing is that I've subjected the practice stick (the one that makes contact regularly with the basement's concrete floor) to lots of slappers and wristers and its finish hasn't cracked in a similar manner. It still plays well and keeps together, so I'm going to keep bringing it to games and practices. It's just not the prettiest stick out there. If you have to have a stick that will never mar, chip or get other character marks, you'd be better off spending more money on something different.
In all, if you're looking for a nice entry-level stick from Warrior, you've got it. The stick will stand up to abuse, but it won't be the nicest-looking stick when it's done. I can live with that. The stick is just fine.