I only listen to 4 podcasts at most per week, so for me, now that they've cleaned up the lag (I'm not running into any lag issues anymore), it works great for my purposes. I have the 4 I listened to subscribed and it downloads them automatically, so that when I go to listen, they are there and I don't ever go back in history to listen to older ones, so I don't have issues with undownloaded podcasts. I think if I listened to a lot more, Downcast would be worth it, but this free one works great for me now.
Yeah, for a few podcasts, the official app works well. Not so good when you start adding more podcasts or you want better ways to manage it.
Hopefully they'll improve on it in the future.