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Just for fun when running around my typical hometown area, I will use the Nav just to see how accurate a route it will calculate. Sometime it does fine, other times not. Since I know the area like the back of my hand, I will use side streets and cut through neighborhoods to avoid high traffic areas, and any problematic left turn routes. The Nav system does not seem to accommodate this kind of "alternate" route stuff very well. Even when the alternate route is actually shorter in overall distance, not to mention time. The Nav system seems to usually pick the most common, main road route.
I got my map update about a month ago on sale (from GM) for $99. Maybe you can call 877-NAV-DISC and sweet-talk them into selling it for a lower price.
Unfortunately, sometimes you get what you pay for: my update wouldn't update -- my initial attempt failed, then I went out of town for a while and when I tried to update again today, it failed again. I'm contacting GM today.
I updated the map in the past once (also on sale) without any difficulty.