Exactly What I Was Looking For
I've been really thrilled with my Grace m101 pre, and wanted to complement the rich, clean gain with some smooth, transparent compression. I've had good experiences with the FMR Audio RNC, but have been frustrated by its unbalanced connectors, and also find that it can sometimes rob my recordings of some richness and detail. I record storytelling/narration pieces, and it's imperative that they feel intimate and present, so I decided to see how the m102 fared.
I'm here to report I couldn't be happier. As others have said elsewhere, you really don't know it's there until you really drive it hard, and even then it's still fairly subtle compared to other compressors I've used. It doesn't seem to color the sound at all on more gentle settings, and while I can't comment on how well it would be suited for recording music, it's pretty much perfect for the spoken-word work I'm using it for. Naturally, it pairs beautifully with the m101--but I can't imagine you'd have bad results with any pre's input.
For my budget, it's a lot to spend for compression on a single channel, but it's also delivered exactly the sound I was hoping for, and that's worth a lot! I was really happy to see that Sweetwater's carrying them--they're hard to find. You should buy one so that they continue to stock them!