Honda has generally done a good job with the CVT, avoiding many of the complaints with competitors' earlier versions. The engine/CVT combo gives you enough low end torque that the transmission can hold the RPM around 2,000 and give you sufficient linear acceleration. There is still a bit of a "shift" as the torque converter engages (the torque converter is one of Honda's differentiating characteristics).
Around town, it is very smooth. Up hills, the RPMs will climb linearly (they will also climb on their own going downhill to add enging braking). If you need more power, it will respond almost instantenously and then "shift" back down as soon as you pull back on the gas (I normally only need quick bursts of power, so the response is more like what I'd expect from a conventional automatic). The droning noise you hear about with CVTs only happens when you are quickly accelerating up to speed from a stop (as the RPMs will hold around 3-4,000).