In my opinion... ferrets are a wonderful pet... BUT... they are also a lot of work! as Scarlette said you must do all teh research you can about them BEFORE getting one.
One problem a lot of people have is they get a ferret when it is young (also called a kit) and take it home ready to play & rough house with it. Then all of a sidden the kit starts nipping (biting) and sometimes even draws blood if they catch you just right... then off to a shelter it goes because it was a biter & nobody wants to deal with a biter.
Ya see ferrets have a very tough skin & when kits play with each other they tend to play rough because of that reason. Ferrets do not know that our skin is more sensitive & that what they are doing is hurting us, all they think they are doing is trying to play. You really have to have a lot of patience when it comes to this.
Ferrets are VERY smart animals & as a general rule learn very quickly. They also try to be very clever & outsmart you from time to time. You can never let your guard down with them. Having a ferret is like have a 2 year old child running around 24/7!
Ferrets need to have a diet very high in protein. They also have special diet requirements such as NO dairy products & you shouldn't give them sweets (sugar.)
Then another thing you need to know is all the possible illness a ferret is prone to, especially as it gets older. There is adrenal disease, insulinoma, possible anemia... you have to make sure you are prepared for these. (those are just a few) Granted not ALL ferrets get this but they are very common. Deafness is also common in certain ferrets carrying a gene called the "warrenberg gene" (I think that is the name of it) this is most prominant in white ferrets, pandas' & blazes' (a lot of white markings).
I currently have 4 ferrets. 3 females & 1 male. All of which have been spayed/neutered & descented. I know for sure 1 of my females (possibly 2 of them) are deaf. We have been having a lot of biting issues & trust issues going on... but ya gotta be patient & work through it! BUT irregardless I would NOT trade them for anything in the world!
What I have said is NOT by any means everything you need to know just touches base of a few... The book Glidertales deffinately gives good info! & Scarlette is absolutely right! they DO poop a lot! some ferrets are worse than others & some smell worse then others. Ferrets have a naturally musky smell to them which tends to bother a lot of people also... with proper care though this can be greatly reduced! (the smell, NOT the poop
Ok... I am done writing my book now... I think I am gonna take a break for a while! If you haev any specific questions don't hesitate to ask & I will try to do my best to help! Good luck in whatever you decide to do!