I have not attended Goenka retreat but have heard tapes of his. So this is just my opinon. I feel there he uses certain terms differently from the suttas: As far as suttas go there are controversies regarding Goenka's interpretation of vedana:
suttas often seem to depic vedana as an applicable term to all stimuli (denoting its pleasant, unpleasant or neutral nature) arising from any of the sense baseshttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... l#sn27.005
This has knock on effects as to what is being practiced -whether it is vedananupassana or kayanupassana (or even dhammanupassana using only one sense door)
another is his usage of the term sankhara to denote defilements. Sankhara has a broader definition within the suttas- karmically whoelsome, unwhole or neutral dhammas.
As far as the practice goes there is nothing mentioned in the suttas or the commentaries about sankharas arising and being dispelled. This is more in line with the western freudian concepts of releasing of repressed psychological trauma.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sankhara
'Bhangha' is another term- possibly with new usage with the tradition. It is said to denote a point where all body sensations disappear. Previously in the commentaries bhanga nana (knowledge of dissolution) is when everything seems to be dissolving. These two are different. I suspect that bhanga may occur in two instances- one is when samadhi is developed to a great degree and the mind cannot direct itself towards body sensations (this naturally happens in samatha) and focuses internally on the mind away from body sensations. Or it happens when there is stream entry.
I have seen many people after practicing Goenka. For some the outcome has been merely samatha (they go into jhana using the body scan). Others seem stuck in repetions of body scans which doesnt seem to progress far from that point onwards. Others have reaped the full benefit and gone all the way to stream entry following the traditional progress of insight.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html
The main limitation I see with the body scan method is the scanning itself. I feel it tends to give rise to more samatha than vipassana. For example lets imagine focusing a flashlight in a dark room, wich has a stream of flowing water down the middle. if we focus on just one spot things might look prety constant, but there will be some change visible as the water flows past (samatha). if we focus up and down this stream we will be able to see the ripples and eddies in the stream much better and sense impermanence much better (body scan). if we switch the flash light on and off and focus on different parts of the stream and even the room we would be able to see the impermanence at it's best. this would offer the best chance of letting go of all phenomena after seeing it's true nature, and not just the body, which is the purpose of vipassana. You will find that traditions that do the last form of vipassana are all confident about talking about attainment- ie -stream entry.
I believe that Goenka has done a great service to the world by making vipassana very popular and bringing it to many. Many people have benefitted from it. But I think there are areas which can be improved upon. I hope I wont be penalized for expressing my honest opinion.