I'm sorry you have felt that way. I'm on the forum often. I see lots of people with questions. Many questions are related to hardware/software and we always try to eliminate anything it could be which in many cases is a configuration or setting issue between the software and hardware. Sometimes there is a bug. This is very occasional. I think this says something about the stability of the program. More often than not the user finds the issue and continues to make music.Keep in mind also that only the people having problems show up. The others are successfully using the software.A big turnoff is that the official main forum never acknowledges that Sonar has a problem. Its almost always put down to user input. And then all sorts of workarounds are suggested which really should not exist in a modern daw. Having said that, I have had a bundle of fun with it over the last few months. Its a "fun" daw in ways that other serious daws are not.
My thoughts on Cakewalk as freeware-
Cakewalk is NOT free no more than Facebook is really free. Meng bought Cakewalk for an undisclosed amount of money. Meng retained talented coders from Cakewalk. He is investing in a new forum. There have been regular meetings with talent from Boston and Meng in Singapore. Updates are still happening at least once a month.
Buying companies, flying talent back and forth. Paying the developers salaries, maintaining the servers, plotting a business plan and investing in it. None of that is free or without much effort to maintain. Cakewalk represents years of work and investment.
Thankfully the product is free to you, but nothing else about it is really free.
There are other plans in the works for revenue that are undisclosed. Offering additional plugins like the Adaptive Limiter, Rapture or ZT3A+2_64 synth might be a way he decides to leverage CbB. There is talk of hardware in the future. Since Meng owns a bunch of audio/recording related companies and has an interest in Rolling Stone Magazine there are lots of potential things he is capable of doing.
Free in this case does not mean the product is somehow less capable. I understand this might be the preception of a few. The perception would be very wrong. As I already mentioned before there are recording studios running CbB with 100+ tracks stable. I just finished a classical compo loaded up with Kontakt libraries. Not one hiccup.