Very easy installation. I chose Sonar because it doesn't need any dongle (and for its price too).
I find the way tracks are presented a bit confusing. A project with several tracks requires some organization and the creation of folders otherwise it can quickly becomes a mess. Unlike other sequencers, Sonar opens dual tracks (Midi + audio) for each source. So you really have to be well-organized. Version 8 solves this problem and gives you the possibility to set a track in Rec mode while the song is being played back.
Very clear user's manual.
The main problems start here... Sonar5 worked perfectly with the WDM drivers of my MIA sound card but now I have serious problems! ASIO compatibility doesn't seem to be quite finished yet and I don't think I'm the only user having this problem.
Midi functionality has been greatly enhanced from v5 to v7.
The effects provided are ok but I don't use them a lot since I also have an UAD DSP card.
The synths are a real plus considering the price, and their quality is good enough for demos. I don't use them because I own a lot of keyboards and sound generators.
To be honest I could get used to Sonar. I come from Logic Audio 5.5.1 and I still have problems with Sonar's shortcuts although they are freely configurable. The habit is too strong!
I'm waiting for the new v8 demo version to check if the ASIO compatibility is better. If it's not the case I will simply buy another sequencer. It makes me sick to think I will have to pay for bug fixes, or functions that have been already implemented in other products!
I tried out Tracktion's demo and even though Midi seems to be quite basic, I think it's great to have everything displayed on the screen and readily accessible, making work faster. I haven't had any system crashes but I don't compose any symphonies...
BTW the score function is very bad... when you come from Logic!
I also tested Samplitude and found it really good, but I don't want to buy a product when I know I'm only going to use 10% of its functions... And it's not the same price.
I wouldn't choose this sequencer again. I will test version 8 as soon as it comes out and if the ASIO problems are not solved yet (like on Tracktion and Samplitude) I will choose another brand.