I was just asked this question for the second time in a week, so here is my answer:
Ah, interesting question as I have thought about it myself several times. Would I do it again--probably, but not completely sure. The thing about the Copics is that they give much better coverage than anything I have used before with much less streaking. You are supposed to really saturate and if you do that (I don't all the time) it will give you a solid area with no streaking like markers will. But---you knew a "but" was coming didn't you, LOL--- I purchased them for the shading capacity. To tell you the truth I can get equally good shading with Tombow or SU markers and a Dove Blender pen. I scribble the marker on a plastic piece of margarine lid and then pick up the color with the Dove blender. I have much more control than I do with the Copics. Could just be me, but even with the Copic clear blender pen I have to work at it more to get a similar effect.
However, having purchased about 20 of them, I am VERY attached to some of the shades of some of the colors. I really love the reds and the pinks. I have also found that you can use the waterbased markers with the Dove pen OVER the Copic bases. Therefore, I think my answer would be that if I were to do it again, I would buy the Copic colors I loved and use them for the solid bases when I color and then use my waterbased markers to do my shading. I would most definitely buy a Copic colorless marker as it removes and lifts color and is great to lighten an area. I also bought a refill in the colorless because I use it so much and they dry out a bit faster than other markers--particularly the clear one. All my others have stayed good and wet.
If I were a rich woman, I would buy lots and lots of Copics. If I were on a terribly tight budget, I could get along just fine with about 5 of them in my favorite color and then use waterbased with them. Since I am in the middle, I have a good basic collection and will probably buy only 2-3 more in colors that I really want. Additionally, it seems that the price on these things just keeps going up and up and so that has put a damper on things for me too.
I have purchased the Ciaos as I love the brush tip. I then use adhesive paper, punched 2 small round circles for each and attached them to the ends of the pens and wrote the numbers on them so they are easier to see. I store them horizontally. Other than the visible number I think the savings is worth it to buy the Ciaos.