The discussion of Wake Forest academics begins and ends with the faculty. The teacher-scholars at Wake Forest truly put the "teacher" before the "scholar," as their focus is to educate undergraduates. Wake professors teach at Wake because they want to work with and get to know undergrads. With an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, and with virtually all classes taught by professors, Wake Forest provides a very intimate academic experience. As far as the "Work Forest" reputation, be prepared to work hard when you get here. Most professors are very respected within their academic fields, and they expect a lot out of their students. While the work is never unmanageable (although caffeine helps), you will certainly be challenged, even if that means getting a lower grade than you would have liked. Rest assured, even with the toughest professors, you will be better equipped for future challenges and perhaps get a stellar recommendation.
While academics can be challenging, the biggest obstacle is often getting in the classes you want. The administration continues to increase student enrollment but not the number of classes and professors. This causes a strain when registering for classes. It is particularly difficult for freshman, although there are certain introduction classes that are designated as "freshmen only." However, scheduling issues are just a minor inconvenience because there are always interesting alternatives.