I've tried my hand at hydroponics, although not to the scale of anything like what's in the picture. I've tried a number of different types of systems, including a flood and drain, drip, bato bucket, deep water culture, as well as an aeroponic system. It's a fun toy, especially when you build it yourself, but on the personal level it isn't economical.
When you are growing fruits and vegetables, for the personal use, it doesn't really justify the cost. You can buy a big box of tomatoes for $10 at the farmer's market, or you can spend $100 on the equipment plus $20 on the nutrients to grow the same amount of tomatoes.
But you really can notice the increased growth. Things grow much faster, and you are better able to manipulate the bloom periods of the plants, especially if you can put it under artificial light.
For me, the cost was more like a hobby, and if I got ANYTHING out of it I considered it a net gain. In the end I gave it up due to the maintenance requirements, and the cost. Everything needs constant scrubbing, sanatizing, and re-fertalizing (usually once or twice a week). It was painful to watch the store bought nutrients being flushed down the toilet every time I had to re-sanatize the reservoir.