I had a chance to run one of these for the weekend and I honestly think it is a very good rifle. Is it a possible replacement for my 74? Negative. I'll start off on why it isn't.
The Saiga .223 lacked a muzzle brake. I like the brake/compensator on my 74 for a lot of reasons. It helps keep the muzzle free of obstructions, keeps the climb down and I feel like it reduces flash.
The Saiga .223 isn't something you can find a lot of affordable mags for like the AK-74. Most are around $30 and all are plastic. There is an adapter you can get for $80 which allows it to run AR mags. Thats great if it works and is reliable. My only slowness to that approach is that I don't care for the mag release system on AR's. I'm faster at changing mags on the AK platform. Maybe I'll change but I doubt it.
The Saiga .223 isn't something you can grab a parts kit for and keep running for decades that way. But in fairness, you can buy a second Saiga .223 for around $300 and just pack it away.
That is about all I could find wrong with the rifle. What was good about it? Lots.
This Saiga was covered in rails. I'm not one for overloading my rifle with accessories. Normally, a light is good enough. Weight and clearance is always a concern for me. I still like having the options.
Like my Saiga .308, it is built like a tank when you need a tank built tough.
It was more than acceptably accurate. It grouped tight and consistent.
It was light. Me and my friends carry our rifles all day often. This matters.
Control was good. Not Tantal 74 good but good.
You can get .223 or 5.56 ammo almost anywhere. That was one of the biggest positive points to it.
It has a scope rail already. Don't lecture me about how it isn't right to put a scope on an AK. You still might want to mount some sort of quick-target acquisition optics or night vision. If you wanted to here, you could. It is an accurate rifle for it's type and price. I think the iron sights are a little beneath it.
Mag changes were smooth. I dug that.
Recoil was almost unnoticeable.
This rifle is very, very easy to clean.
I'll upload some pics later. Once again, not bad. If for no other reason, you ought to have a dependable 5.56 rifle stashed away somewhere if you run any non-domestic military round (such as 5.45).