Well, Loner, I'll give this a shot, but it's a few days before mid-terms, so not sure how coherent it will be.
From what I've seen, a large part of how successful you'll be in this program has to do with how you approach it. I'm sure you know from your previous experience that every school/workplace has its ups and downs. Drexel is no different, but in terms of ACE, I'd say the good outweigh the bad. I think it's easy to become overwhelmed or frustrated and blame the professors/admininstration/evil HESI people when you don't do as well as you'd like, but I always remind myself that people have done this before me and it is possible. It's okay to get upset for a little while, but it's more important to suck it up, take responsibility for your own education, and figure out how to be successful next time. There is always help available, but you have to ask for it.
As far as the workload goes, it's not terrible first quarter, but I highly recommend using that time to figure out how to organize your time. You need to decide what method of studying & time management works best for you. One trick that I use to avoid getting overwhelmed is not looking too far ahead. I know it may seem counterproductive, but I just try to focus on one thing at a time...it really does help me prioritize. There's always plenty of work to be done at any given point, so "getting ahead" kind of goes out the window and it becomes much more important to stay on top of things. Study as you go along, and when exam time rolls around, you'll know where your weaknesses are so you can focus on that.
Don't worry so much about what other people think about certian professors and their exams. Just because one student doesn't care for a particular professor, doesn't mean that you'll feel the same way. Use the power points and blueprints as a guide, ask questions, and do what works for you. Yes, I've had a couple of professors that everyone would agree were, um, not our favorites, but I still managed to do well in their classes. Go into each class & each experience with an open mind. Some of my absolute favorite profs, the ones who I learned the most from and went out of their way to teach me, scared the crap out of me in the beginning.
Remember that when you open the syllabus on the first day, it will probably seem scary and impossible. You will likely be swearing under your breath and wondering what you got yourself into. That's just because you haven't learned it yet...by the time the scary things come along, you'll be ready for them. Give yourself a chance to enjoy the process with your classmates - form study groups, have lunch together, talk about something other than class. No matter how amazing the other people in your life are, no one else is going to understand your day to day like your ACE friends. Instead of competing against each other, work together, learn from each other, and try to prevent each other from looking like an idiot whenever possible. You'll be glad you did when someone returns the favor!
Oh, and don't buy the med term flash cards, they are a giant waste of money and you don't need them at all. Skip the Potter & Perry study guide, it's also not helpful. And I'm not gonna lie, I never used my Clinical Skills book (and yes, I passed every check out on the first try).
Not really sure if these were the answers you were looking for, but hope it helps a little!