I used to use pro tools M powerd then got a focusrite pro 40 and went to cubase that my girl got me as a gift. I really liked it as far as how it handled latency and MIDI but i don't do a lot of MIDI stuff.
Now a little while ago I had water damage in my studio my main computer and my I loc died now im on a laptop 2.3 ghz old I7 with 8 gigs of RAM. so I switched to reaper so far Its what I did not like in cubase but I lacks a few things.
overall if you get over the customizations and just use it to get some music done you cant complain. often fanboys just like all the stuff you can do.
The problems that I come across With using this DAW can be considered minor and major for who uses it. For one The MIDI control on reaper is not what you would consider the best in any way. Its overall control of MIDI is fine but its ability to make it easy and quick are just lacking. I dont have to use MIDI much because of the styles I mix and I usually just get sent tracks to mix so when i do need a synth its basic minor stuff so the controls are not a huge issue but sometimes I want it to be more indepth.
the other problem i notice is this high latency makes reaper crap out when i use alot of high latency stuff on a project say a combo of like my verbtone my stripbus on every channel and a instance of specter on the reverb channel I notice it kinda starts to crap out. cubase does not do that. I wish i was willing to get a new i loc but I dont have a million usb inputs to spare so I would rather not. so im stuck with reaper.
personally if they could fix those two things i would give it a ten I have gotten alot more work done alot quicker and alot easier because of its basic set up I like to think of things as do what works not what everyone else does keep it simple mix in mono use eq and compression to separate and some reverb or delay to give depth and your good so reaper is perfect for me. sometimes though i need some MIDI and sometimes.
all in all though its a bang for a good buck I use it not thinking of the price or look but on what i can do with it and so far its great glad i have it and I probably will not switch to anything else I love supporting smaller developers like sknote, klanghelm, eareckon, and cockos all of them great great developers and I do love the stillwell plugins that reaper has. I plan on buying a lot of those because of using reaper so that's another great product i hope to soon own. but bills and living in LA are not cheep ha but yea great program some small things that really are not to much of a problem. And usually things get resolved quick with reaper its got a huge do what the fans want kind of feel to it and for me its just right.
i love Marmite. what on earth do you mean? are you a hater?
i had to comment as this is the first negative review of reaper i have seen for quite some time : /.
i understand your criticism though, reaper's interface seems (is) overly complex, esp. for those with little knowledge. however, if you stick through the steep learning curve and you can get your head around the infinitely customizationable nature of it, it is a great piece of software. if you are looking for an opposite on terms of a much more streamlined interface, them studio one is a good choice.
i also want to point out that you can get a lot of stuff on the reaper site to do a lot of skinning and customization, i have just d/l a set that simlifies the plethora of menus you find in it's default install. it's a fantastic piece of kit and .. it's very VERY cheap for what you get.
i am going to buy it very soon as it also has a great forum and very regular (every few weeks it seems), updates. as i say i am still 'seeing other DAWs' but i come back to reaper more and more as i explore and play.
I have always used Propellerhead Reason 7.1 Which has a fantastic mixer and is pretty. Lol. I bought Reaper two years ago because I wanted to use vst's. And after I got my head around it, I fell in love. I have quite a lot of Refiils for Reason. So I can bounce down my tracks to reaper and use VST and back again to Reason to use the Mixer. And because it's all digital, there is no loss of audio quality. Amazing! Reaper 5.18 is a Superb DAW that shines with each update. It has scoring as well now. :-)