So is their CertMaster thing actually any good for studying for the CompTIA exams, or am I gonna get bent over and fucked if I buy it.
Heres my 3 1/2 minutes on google.
CompTIA administers its certification exams through Pearson VUE testing centers. In addition to certification, CompTIA also provides corporate membership.
In April 2007, CompTIA's "A+", "Network+", and "Security+" certifications became accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
In January 2010 these ANSI/ISO approved certifications fundamentally had their conditions changed from lifetime certifications to certifications that will expire every three years. Current certificate holders will still have valid certs for life, but any new certifications earned after December 31, 2010, will expire every three years.
From what I hear, CertMaster is just okay. You will need other resources to pass unless you have lots of real world experience. I'm in the same position and I don't think I'm going to buy it. There are plenty of better resources out there like Professor Messer and the all-in-one books from Mike Myers.
CertMaster is nothing more than a study resource for "real industry recognized certs".
I'd say get A+ if you literally have zero other IT certs and you want a technical job within the next 3 years. If you have any other IT-industry certs already, then A+ only if your specific employer desires it.