I took ACLS and PALS just before I graduated for all of the reasons mentioned. In the end, it really meant little to nothing in terms of getting a job. I would suggest that if you have the extra money, then yes, get the certs. However, for me, it was a non-issue and it certainly wasn't a detriment where I was held to a higher standard as long as you acknowledge the fact that the certification doesn't mean you know what you are doing in a Code situation.
The best reason for getting the Certs IMHO is that you can tell recruiters that you are so motivated to learn that you just couldn't wait to get the ACLS certifications.
Also, the protocols do NOT change every year. The new ACLS protocols are coming out as of 2011 and prior to that, it was 2008. There are only minor differences that don't mean very much to you as a nurse since doctors do pretty much whatever they want in a Code situation. As an ER Doc once told me as well as my preceptor nurse, "They're already dead. You aren't going to kill em any more".
And no, the class is not very difficult and you will pass.