Ever since buying this just days after receiving the GameCube as a gift back in December of 2005, there hasn't been a time wherein I would encounter any issue with this, which therefore resulted in myself becoming greatly satisfied with not only that, but the WaveBird Controller as a whole, due to what it brings to the table.
With its silver design that's sure to blow you away, the WaveBird also includes the same format of buttons that can be seen on the regular, wired controllers that are included with the game console (as far as "color" when you're talking about which is which with the included controller - it all depends on, obviously, the color of the GameCube itself). Furthermore, in my opinion, I believe that the WaveBird has an overall better grip than that of a regular controller - but that's just me, since the grips can be considered to be exactly the same. This controller in particular happens to provide the player with a sense of longetivity, such that once you put in a pair of batteries and are ready to go, you won't have to worry about changing the batteries for quite a while.
If you're looking for numbers, I'd say around 2-3 months - that is, if you, by any chance, happen to be a consistent user that pretty much plays the GameCube with the WaveBird on a daily basis. If that's not the case, then I'd say perhaps around or up to six months. So basically, that would mean that you would only have to run out to the store, and just buy a single pack of batteries (a pair of double A's that is), due to the fact that the WaveBird already includes a set of batteries - not just that, it took me quite some time to even hassle around with the back cover, just to of course place some new, fresh batteries in. Must admit that, as a result, I was quite surprised and even began to felt as if I won't ever be needing to change up the batteries as I had originally expected prior to purchasing it. However, that would probably be just that in an ideal world, so that being said, do always make sure that the switch is off whenever not in use if you just so happen to hate buying batteries every now and then (I say this for the sake of not condoning the matter as I see this all the time, even though it's not really much to worry about unless of course you're broke).
As to it's capability of going pretty far - I've been pleased with what it had intended to offer the player. Suits my preferences, and that's what's important in my estimation if the TV by any chance happens to be far away from where you're intending to sit (or stand, you choose) at. Is it worth the 30 bucks? Absolutely. I don't think there should be a lesser price when you're talking about something of this caliber that demonstrates superior quality in the field of 'wireless controllers'. Just as on a regular controller, all the buttons on the WaveBird are sleek, along with being backed up with the typical GameCube controller smoothness, so no, don't go on thinking that these "points" are "too good to be true". As far as I'm concerned, the WaveBird can go up to 20 feet away from the receiver, and therefore, there's no reason why you should worry about eye conditions, glasses and whatnot. Without a doubt, with that being the case, this alone, along with it of course being "wireless", it definitely ensures you a peace of mind, knowing that you're in for a Nintendo experience like no other.