I can tell you that many people like "anytime" dining and many people don't. We prefer traditional seating where you get to know your tablemates.
We've had staterooms very far forward from time to time, but the only balconies have been amidship. Advantages to being way up front: it's quieter up there very little vibration, not so much traffic or noise in the halls.
Disadvantages: further to walk to dinner (not necessarily bad) and more motion on either end of the ship in rough seas than amidship.
Other than that, there is obviously a huge advantage to a balcony over a non-balcony stateroom.
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.
Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10