Well, I have several different projects on course, basically as any other microcontroller projects: dealing with digital I/O, serial communications, etc.
I'd say it's very suitable for learning, since it's laid out like a standard DOS-based PC, and it is coded in the same way. Most programs run both under PCs and the Fl186 without modifications. I've only found differences dealing with the internal timers and serial communications, although the latter is not a problem since they provide a driver and some libraries which make it very easy to code.
I don't know what your needs are, but if you don't need Ethernet interfaces or several other features requiring a 386 processor, I'd go into the 186 solution, which is under 50 and still quite powerful.