Here I posted a little make-your-own buffing brush post, the results of which made up my mind about purchasing the Real techniques core collection kit. Now I haven't owned any ~proper~ make up brushes previously so I can't compare to other brands but I can let you know how I got along with these myself. All these brushes have nice aluminium handles which are the perfect length, lightweight and easy to use.
Contour brush: As the name suggests I use this for contouring and also sweeping powder highlighters on my face. A lovely shape and nice and soft, it does not deposit too much product at once so gives a nice wash of colour, (though slightly denser in the centre which is what you want from a contour) which can be built up.
Pointed foundation brush: This brush I find too small for foundation and prefer to use the buffing brush for my base. This brush however I use to add concealer to under my eyes and around my nose (anywhere I need it basically) as it is a lot more precise than the buffing brush and smooth it in for a nice finish.
Detailer brush: As I use the foundation brush for my concealer I tend to use this brush for either smudging along my lash line or for my lips (I wash it in between ofc!). This is quite a firm brush, perhaps a little too firm for certain eye types but I am fine with it, lipstick goes on precisely and cleanly and you can really kind of 'buff' it in to all the crevices in your lips making it last longer.
Buffing brush: This is the brush that I had heard so much about and the main reason why I wanted to buy this set in the first place. The bristles were a lot softer than I imagined, but still had quite a dense feel to them, making it lovely to buff in liquid foundations with. I love that I don't get that greasy-finger feeling any more and find this does make my make up routine a lot quicker and easier. I love the finish this brush gives my skin and it is definitely the star of the bunch for me.
Overall I am very impressed with these brushes, and I know I am not the only one. Although some similar brush shapes could possibly be found cheaper I have had no problem with shedding or scratchy bristles and definitely think it is worth purchasing these. If they are a little out of your price range then just pop them on your Christmas list!