Almost full marks from me - dropped 1 point from the GUI, but that's debatable as they went into such attention to detail that you can use your own backgrounds and sliders/knobs if you are that fussy. And it's easy to do it - I tried with some and it's a piece of cake - I've never done that type of thing before, but you just d/l the .bmps into the right folder, unlock the FX and edit in the workbench in one easy page. A stroke of genius.
Sounds - as basic as you want or as weird as you want. There are lots of different types of filters, mod FX, delays, dynamics (as multiband as you want too), sidechains, Eqs blah blah blah - there really isn't anything I can think of that isn't there. And almost all of them are very good quality - Possibly the Eq isn't up to the standards of things like Equium/firium, but for everyday use I find them up to the task - possibly I wouldn't use them at the final mix/master stage, but because the dynamics are so clean, you shouldn't really need Eq on your master (when you consider that if you want 10 multiband comp followed by a 15 multiband limiter you can have it - why should you need Eq?) And the dynamics are good - they are more what I'd describe as clean rather than character - that was probably a deliberate policy to make them useable in any circumstance - if you want character comps then you have the ability to go into the workbench and add in your own subtle distortion or valve sim or Eq for the character.
Features - now has PDC, so no matter what host you use, Quantum will work with it. A totally modular setup - it has presets that are all very useable and cover the standard to the sublime, but if you want you can set up your own FX as in the SynthEdit style - building up FX blocks and chaining them together in any way you want (I do this with some trepidation, as you literally can do it in any order and connection that you want - so if you aren't sure what you're doing, you can explode your monitors with extreme ease!)
Presets - worth the purchase price on their own. Multifilter delays that can make a drumloop sound like a Tibetan Chime orchestra. Filtered overdrive that can make a standard bassline into a didgeridoo. Excellent guitar amps and FX, huge chorus, jet flanger etc etc etc. One of the newer presets that DB has included is a ducking delay - so very useful - can you think of any other delay that has that feature, and that can have its output also chorused, filtered, resonated, Eq'd and then limited just in case? Hmmmm? And if it sounds a bit daunting editing your own FX block - you can do big variations on the presets by simply going in and editing the workbench settings without changing connections and it is made so easy - you almost don't need the manual, it's so intuitive for such a big idea.
VFM - might seem expensive, but for all those FX and the modular nature, it's a bargain. Collect all those as separates would cost several times the $299 and might not be as good quality!
Edit: Now V2 is out I had to add in some stuff. SIDECHAINS! Might not sound incredible, but really is. You can make all of your own sidechained compressors (which are quickly catching on it seems). There's also a neat preset included which is a sidechain resonant filter . This is a good one to use if you're not sure how useful a sidechain can be. It use the input of a source channel (say a drumloop) to feed a filter to anything else. So you could use the loop to modulate a filter on a pad, or a vocal etc - exptrapolate that out, and you could make up a patch with some kind of vocoder that is modulated on a vocal with the loop as the source. You can use sidechains to have dynamic reverbs etc where the reverb decay time or level is fed from a copy of its own audio! Something like a reverb that is weaker on a strong signal (to avoid muddiness) but stronger on a weak signal (where it will be heard more easily. Or a reverb that has a big decay time on the strong snare hit, but shorter on the lesser hits, such as hats!
And the implementation of the sidechains is so easy. You load up 2 instances of the same FX; 1 on the source channel and one on the receiving channel, set 1 to send and 2 to receive within QFX. No more dicking around with quattro groups on Cubase. Now that has got to be a good thing. It means that QFX will be able to use sidechains in almost any host - even those that don't normally allow sidechaining.
And there are a couple of "premium FX". Hopefully this'll be developed further, because the new guitar amp Aura is a real beauty. It has very smooth overdrive, and the whole thing oozes quality and boxy cabinet sound. I've used it on drums and all sorts of things to good effect.
The whole V2 upgrade's alot smoother; it now feels like it's complete. No odd little glitches when loading FX with the host running, minor CPU improvements, slightly slinkier GUI - it feels like it's really come together in all the areas where it matters - the sound quality was always excellent