I've just changed out my DAW software and thought I'd share some thoughts with the community.
My goals were:
1. move to a completely native system with no third party plug-ins, saves gear envy, cost and constant updating, also inability to run projects on systems without the same plugins
2. get rid of dongles since moving to a laptop form desktop
3. ditch Cubase's annoying floating window panels in favour of Sonar X1 skylight / docking
I've not originated any big projects yet and was never a great one for fully exploring the complex functionality of Cubase, rather tending to get confused by too many distracting options, therefore another goal of this change is to keep things simple. Obeservations so far (feedback tracks earlier numbering):
1. fully realised - has drums, usable keys and guitar amp sim and bass out of the box, same can't be said for cubase where their business model seems to require them to sell all these things as extras
2. yay - no dongles required, I've got better things to do with my usb ports...
3. awesome - Long have I despised the floating transport..
A couple of other things:
4. general presentation not as 'glossy' as cubase, some gui elements (especially plugins) are older / not so polished and don't quite fit in with the overall scheme. Devs should be focusing principally on workflow / ease of use but since apps are so expensive I would also expect faultless presentation
5. latency performance - I've moved computers so comparison is probably meaningless although I was suprised to get better results using asio drivers over the windows wdm ones I though Sonar liked.
Hope that helps someone considering the same choice.