I was on wellbutrin for a while... it made me CRAZY-crazy. My depression WAY WORSENED... I HAD to get off it.
I also had the phen-meds a few years ago. It did help suppress my appetite. I also exercised my *** off (quite literally!) and ate healthy and lost about 35 pounds. But then I got off the meds.... shortly thereafter had an injury that kept me out of the gym 12+ weeks, and coincidentally started eating crappy again. Gained the 35 back.... PLUS 20 more. Ugh.
I have learned that *FOR ME* I just have to keep plugging away with the exercise & eating habits. Pills are just destructive IMHO, and even if you succeed in losing weight, you may gain worse health (heart problems, etc) and most likely will gain back the pounds plus more once you quit the pills.
I know that's probably NOT what you wanted to hear, but... you did say "the good the bad & the ugly".