I'm proud Meowmy to two beautiful Birman boys, and they are the most precious things in the world!
The boys are so laid back and sweet - at their latest vet appointments, neither one of them made a peep when they were examined and got their rabies vaccinations and microchipped. Billy even started purring during the examination.
As a whole, the breed tends to be pretty smart - Chay knows how to get into every drawer and cabinet in the whole house. They're affectionate, but not clingily so. When I get home every night, they meet me at the door, follow me around meowing until I sit down, and then engage in serious cuddle time for about 10-20 minutes before they get tired of me and go do their own thing. They're usually pretty good about cuddling when I want to cuddle, and entertaining themselves when I have things to do.
As far as energy levels go, my two are still young (3 and 4) so they'll play hard when I feel like playing, but they also play well with each other if I am busy. I would say they are a medium energy breed - they like to run around, but not go wild crazy like a Bengal.
Their fur is amazingly soft - like bunny fur. For most Birmans, it tends not to mat, and so grooming them is mostly to get rid of extra hair and for bonding, moreso than maintenance. They also have only the soft downy coat and lack the rougher guard hairs, so technically they shed "less" than other breeds because they have less hair. Don't let that fool you though - they do shed quite a lot. Regular brushing cuts that down a lot.
As a whole, the breed doens't tend to have major congenital problems - I would ask your breeder first though if there are anything in his or her lines. When the Birman breed was nearly eradicated during WWII, they outcrossed to some other breeds to rebuild, and some of those problems still crop up occaisionally in Birman lines today. The big one, I think, it sensitivity to certain types of anethesia.
Birmans are a social breed - if you plan to get one, it would be better if you had another animal or someone at home to keep it company all the time. That how I ended up with two instead of just one. :p
As far as feeding goes, they tend not to overeat, so I free-feed mine, and they're both at a good weight. Males tend to be around 12 pounds or so, while females tend closer to 9, if I remember correctly.
I can't think of anything else right at the moment...I'll put more up if I think of anything, or feel free to ask me questions. I think I am just one of two Birman owners on the site.
Here's a few websites so that you can learn more though, if you haven't already found them.http://www.birman.org/http://nationalbirmanfanciers.com/http://www.birmanbreeder.com/http://www.cfa.org/breeds/profiles/birman.html
Some good breeders to get more info/see examples of the breed (the last one is Billy and Chay's breeder)http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/carraig/http://www.ritzykatz.com/http://www.sinhsoulbirmans.com/