Here’s a brief audio clip (460KB MP3) of what J. I. Packer said about the ESV at a banquet hosted by Crossway at the International Christian Retail Show in 2006. A transcript:
I was privileged to act as General Editor of the English Standard Version, and now that I look back on what we did in producing that version, I find myself suspecting very strongly that this was the most important thing that I have ever done for the Kingdom, and that the product of our labors is perhaps the biggest milestone in Bible translation in certainly this last 50 years, and perhaps more. Perhaps I ought to be saying 100 years—I think I should, actually—because it was almost 100 years ago that the paraphrase renderings of the Bible began to present themselves, as they did, as the version that you ought to read if you want to understand the Word of God. I think that, while in the short term it was not false entirely, did set the world of Bible translation and distribution off on what long-term was going to prove a false trail.