I remember just a few years back when any time “Pimsleur” was mentioned, regardless, of the language forum, it was always in a negative light. Along with Rosetta Stone. I heard it called “basic”, “useless”, and “incredibly expensive”.
So to see a thread full of positive responses about Pimsleur is surprising for someone who has been out of the loop for a few years. Needless to say, I’ve never tried Pimsleur, because no one ever recommended it.
But I have listened to a few hundred or so podcasts from Japanesepod101, and I think they’re pretty good; especially with the value for money you get (assuming you don’t pay full price and buy during one of their big sales, which happen pretty often). It’s a cutthroat way to learn vocabulary, but there are quite a few interesting cultural and grammar tidbits I got from one of the beginner courses that I hadn’t heard before from Tae Kim, Imabi, Genki, or Tobira. Plus it’s entertaining, and you can get some good listening practice in.
Slightly off-topic, I would say that Tae Kim is a decent place to start, but once I got up to the Special Expressions & Advanced sections, it became very hard for me to understand due to the anemic explanations and lack of example sentences. I turned to Genki, a proper textbook, to learn the rest of the N5/N4 grammar fundamentals, which was pretty good (although it also didn’t cover some things and it didn’t go as deep as I wanted it to).
Imabi is a great site (entirely free, too) that has hundreds of detailed grammar lessons (including some on classical Japanese if you ever get interested in that) with tons of example sentences. If you find Tae Kim’s explanations lacking, Imabi is the place to go. When I want to really understand something in as much detail as possible, that’s where I go.
Although, I did find that Imabi was a bit difficult when I was a beginner precisely because of that detail, so I often turned to Maggiesensei for simpler (but equally detailed) grammar breakdowns. I found it really helpful to read explanations from different people on the same grammar point back when I was an absolute beginner.