The 22.214.171.124 beta, when it arrived, seems to work nicely, though I've not exercised it more than flying and walking around and examining various sculpted prims from various angles and distances...
...but I guess it's working well enough that LL is bringing sculpted prims to the main grid today after the day's downtime, with the 1.16.0 client.
I'm very happy about this; it means that a lot of shapes that are insane to try to assemble from the simple geometric shapes of traditional prims will become possible. Want an example? Check out the SL Wiki entry for "Sculpted Prims" and scroll on down to the head made by Chip Midnight. Note how many sculpted prims it took to make: ONE.
Actually, let's save you the trouble of following the link. Here's a closeup from a photo I took of an attempt at a human giantess avatar. It's rather doll-like; being at the very beginning of building myself, I can't say that it's the best one can do with old-style prims, but I bet it's not at all easy to create a realistic looking human head out of prims.
Compare that with Chip Midnight's head, made with exactly one prim:
(Sigh... blogger doesn't like .PNG files, so I had to convert it and upload it.)
Second Life is going to get a lot prettier and more realistic, just from this. Furry avatars are going to be revolutionized (and I hope I can finally get the giantess avatar I've been wanting...), and I'm sure the folks making prim genitalia are hard at work. :)
I think LL did a clever thing with this. SL doesn't have to get involved with how you create a sculpted prim; it need only generate the results based on the pseudo-texture that describes its shape. (Oh, yeah... I understand that one can use Wings 3D, another Open Source program, to create sculpted prims now, as well as Blender. At the time of this writing, the SL Wiki lists three free programs that can do the job, thus kicking the props out from underneath the argument that sculpted prims will be the province of what some would call the FI3DC.)
[UPDATE: Oops... make that four. I didn't notice POVRay the first time I looked.]
So... I'm doing a happy dance, and setting to the task of learning to use Wings 3D. (Second) life is good.