We had the same conversation with Epicor and since we used FRx before hand, we were going to use the AFR. Then we learned that AFR's capabilities were substantially less than FRx (for what we needed) and so we opted for XL Connect.
We're on 9.05.606 (going to 702 shortly)
For clarity, we also use Active Planner and have begun an EPM implementation. With EPM, we are not using Replication server, but rather SQL's Snapshot replication twice a day. We understood that the replication server had issues and since the time delay is okay for us, we opted to use SQL to do the heavy lifting.
Having said all that, we were speaking with the EPM team in Nashville last year and understand that there is a new product coming from that group that will obviate the need for XL Connect. It's from the same team and has a similar interface (we saw a brief demo of it). We've not been able to get any more information out of them, so we continue to use XL Connect until something else happens.
XL Connect is quite easy to use, albeit a PITA to get set up sometimes. I'm working on the SP4 update which will hopefully be easier. And we've done quite a few financial documents with it to replace the FRx ones. If you have more specific questions, email me (mike@...)
XL Broadcast is also an option with XL Connect - but it requires a single install running a pseudo-dedicated process and some specific setup. IF you are looking at that, get some seriously specific answers for what you want to do.