My experience went really well perhaps due to changes in the immigration procedures meant to make some applications process faster so that one can go on with life while waiting to gain finally permanent residence status?
I applied for a permanent residence through marriage to a US citizen while in F-1 status. Please note that I applied after our two year anniversary so the conditional permanent resident status would not apply. Here is the time line for my application process:
Late April, 2004: Mailed application
Early May, 2004: Received receipt from USCIS
Mid-June, 2004: Fingerprint appointment
Mid-July, 2004: Interview, where that day they issued a temporary permanent resident visa stamp (with work and travel privileges, of course. And,yes, my passport has the visa stamp, valid for one year...)