What stopped me from following through with the purchase? Online commentary about the portable version's "streamlined" overworld. (From its Wikipedia page: "instead of navigating the game world by directly controlling the protagonist, the player guides an on-screen cursor around an area, allowing interaction with characters and objects.")
On the other hand, I really like the idea of being able to choose a female protagonist at the beginning of Persona 3 Portable and I also like that this version allows players to directly control all party member during battles.
So, my question to all of you who are experienced in at least one or more iterations of Persona 3: which one would you suggest buying--the original PS2 release (Persona 3), that version's "director's cut" (Persona 3 FES) or Persona 3 Portable?