My experiences have been nothing but good ones using CbB. I mostly make <50 track mixes. I have tons of plugins and VSTi. No issues with any. When I work with notation I use Studio One 5 only because it has more features in that area.
The only issues I have had were self made as in when I was mucking around with my Interface settings which were different from project setting CbB locked up on me. This was admittedly my fault and not the DAW software. There are always things to trip up a DAW. Recently I had similar issues in Studio One because it wasn't playing well with a plugin ( scaler). You tweak you sometimes pay
Though Cakewalk plugins are in a designated folder you can point to and scan 3rd party plugins anywhere you desire. The plugin scanner in CbB is one of the best out there seriously. Add a folder, scan, that's it.
I am a long time user of the program since Pro 6 or thereabouts. Lots of changes since then. The X-3 people complaining about bugs....please. It's like a broken record. Download the most recent version you big dummy
I noticed the pic shows the default skin...there are other darker skin choices. You aren't held to that lighter blue one. Even some custom ones, just ask on the forum or look around.
Yes many changes to the way a multi VSTi loads recently. All good. Plenty of online video instruction as well. More recent additions are an arranger section. You can take song sections and rearrange them easily. Everything is drag and drop. What's not to like. It works well, it's full featured and it is free. Give it a try. Unless you have hardware or interface limitations you won't be disappointed. You can use CbB on a simple basic setup, just don't expect it to perform as well. Most average PCs with clean OS are ok.