In answer to your question, I absolutely love it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The other posters have covered the main positives.
As a general point about noise, there are plenty of quieter pockets in the area that would be worth some exploration. Why not go for a walk down Grange Road and have a nose around. There are some lovely houses just south of Southwark Park Road (Alma Grove, Balaclava Road, Reverdy Road, etc.) which could be an interesting altenative to a flat. (I was looking for a flat in 2005 and ended up with a 3 bed house; love having a small garden and feeling of going upstairs to bed...feels like a real home to me). And some of the flats in the Alaska Buildings and Artesian Buildings would be quite a bit quieter (although difficult to find for a good price nowadays).
The area is good for all sorts of reasons....it just needs to develop a bit more....i don't know how the E&C regeneration will affect to the north but overall, and despite Southwark Council in many cases, the area really is becoming a great location. It is central enough without yet commanding some of the huge prices that some areas do, and hopefully this will allow small businesses of all types to set up, allowing a more interesting and diverse community. The only issue I have is with traffic in the area, but then that seems to be a problem for evryone in the London area, wherever they live.
I think Bermondsey Square is an excellent development in a great area of Southwark. The fact that the antiques market is being properly incorporated back into the scheme is a great move by the developers and will create a far greater sense of community than say other gated developments across the borough.
There is a very interesting double page article on the development in the 14th November issue of the Evening Standard Homes & Property supplement, which you can view in PDF format on their website. It talks about the developers proposals and mentions numerous benefits to buying into the scheme.
If I was shopping around in the area I'd consider the Bermondsey Spa development which is by a church near the junction of Bevington Street and Jamaica Road.
It's off the main road, so quiet, and next to Bermondsey tube station. You're only a short walk to Bermondsey Sq, so relevent to this thread.
If you're eligible for shared ownership (1st time buyer?), then they're going on sale in the new year.
I grabbed a shared ownership property a couple of years ago, and by taking in a lodger my outgoings are £500 per month, and I live comfortably in a 3 bed, 1000 sq ft flat worth £400,000. In this economic climate it's a good way of hedging your bets.
I lived just off Long Lane (Elim Estate) from 2000 onwards. It is a 'blue route' which means that emergency vehicles use it very frequently (all very Hill Street Blues if you are old enough to remember this New York cop show). Before this I lived in Metro Central backing on to the v noisy train line. Currently live in the very quiet Longley Street (down Grange Road). The planes starting up at 5am now wake me up! A consolation is that on a Summer night with the windows open you can hear Big Ben (all very Mary Poppins).
London is noisy but you get used to regular noise and tune it out. Go to the country and be prepared for silence, horrible frightening silence....
Great spot. I wouldn't expect to get bargains in March though; I guess that if they're still selling the same flats as earlier in the year they'll be more expensive than they were then. And by next year; more expensive still.
Remember, the value of your investment can go down as well as up.