If you're looking for a an exhaustive reaper review, read the free manual... ;-) ... my two cents ... I've been working intensively with Cubase for years getting bugged more and more of its restrictions and clumsiness. A year ago I switched to reaper... it was like moving from a stumble-upon-on-entering-lumber-room to a catch-a-breath-meadow. It does not waste your time when loading large projects, neither huge numbers nor sloppy coded VSTs bring it to it's knees, and there are much more things to enjoy. Of course it's not perfect, using such a mighty tool one discovers many things to improve (e.g. the thing is getting crowded and confusing with functions, devs should focus on structure). But as far as I've been using it it supports me, and doing things in Reaper I haven't done before is a question of learning and not about constructing workarounds.
Back to my starting point... some months ago I bought the Cubase 8 Upgrade... setting the VST directories I got an error message, that one of the VSTs is corrupt... and Cubase stopped reading and initializing my VST collection. None of my VSTs was available inside of Cubase... emails to Steinberg... digging for logs... Reaper just told me, that there's a corrupt VSTi it would not add to the FX list... all my VSTs were available (except for the corrupt one). A single simple example, but its exemplary for what is featuring Reaper. Using Reaper the complexity of your working is your decision, and not a coercion of your DAW.
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. :-)