The arena does seem pretty tough. I've had a lot more success with tricky stages by trying some different items from the shop, so far throwing knives and bombs have made a HUGE difference. Hiring the mercenaries every now and again can be a great way to give yourself a little room to breathe and sneak around for a back stab or two.
@Ghostiet: @Tennmuerti: Chapter 2 will definitely have some pretty tough parts, I want to focus on magic this time so being stripped of all magic skills for a good chunk of the second act doesn't sound like much fun.
I'm starting to lean towards playing it on hard for the second play through and might come back to it after that..
A place for people to share their experiences with the insane difficulty level.
I finished The Witcher 2 on normal a week or so after it came out and after a short break decided to play through again on insane. After a two attempts to get past the prologue I made it into Chapter One pretty comfortably and really enjoyed how on edge this difficulty level forces you to be. I just had my third death around ten hours in trying to complete "In the Claws of Madness" which is just dripping with irony.
I was just wondering how other people have fared on insane? So far there is only one guy on the site with the Madman achievement so I guess anyone else who's trying this is finding it equally challenging.