Well said jnr. As a matter of fact, I'm presently evaluating several different programs for this reason. I suppose that I'm really holding my breath, hoping that what gets released next from NNA will be the program that everyone has been hopig for.
Consider this tale of woe, however: Although I've had MiniCAD for a number of years, it wasn't necessary for me to use it to make a living...I'm one of those architects with an "administrative job". During the last 6 months or so, I've reached the point that I actually _want_ to get back into the fray (!), and so I broke out MC 7.0.3 for some serious usage.
I had considered the upgrade to VW when 8.0 was released, but the hollering was so loud, that I thought I would wait. (Yeah, I know...) Well, 8.5 finally came out, and there was still some grousing, so it was easy enough to tell myself to wait for 9. (Remember, I'm not making any money by using this program, so it's easier to put it off...)
Well, as my intent shifted, and 9.0 shipped, the stench has been almost overwhelming! I've had the same thought as jnr: if this is somehow a "plot" to bury VW, it's beginning to work! All of the bad reactions from you guys out there trying to make a living with this program have my sympathy...and NNA doesn't yet have my money!
I've been evaluating BOA (interesting, but a bit "intellectual" for me, I'm afraid...and besides, I'm one of those architects who learned to design from the inside out...), PowerCADD (those sample drawings may only be 2D, but they make me drool and long for the good ol' days...but it seems to be a bit "sloppy" in its approach to things that need be be easier to do accurately), DenebaCADD (interesting to look at, but I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user, and this thing still feels too "Wintel" for me to be comfortable with...but I may decide to bite the bullet soon!), and I've given cursory glances at other programs, such as Cadintosh, RealCADD, etc. I refuse, under ANY circumstances to use an AutoDesk product...and I'm even supposed to be "certified" to use AC2000!
Now...NNA has released LandMark, that is reportedly shipping with VW 9.0.1, they've apparently mailed out VW 9.0.1 to registered owners of 9.0 (with NO formal announcement), and they're trying to get VWA 9.0.1 out the door in the next 2-3 weeks. BUT...if you'll go back and read the messages all over the web, they've been saying "two weeks" for this stuff for the last several months.
Given my position (not having to use a cad program to feed my family, etc.), I can afford to wait. Most of you probably can't. I know how anxious that I'm getting here, so I can only imagine how you feel, and I would strongly suggest, as did jnr, that NNA get some sort of LOUD and formal announcement out on Monday of this week (6/25/01). They not only owe it to you guys, but they're about to begin seeing their users disappearing in droves!
I'd like to be more sympathetic to the folks at NNA, but I've seen things from that side of the fence too, and I can tell you that you've already blown off one of your feet, and the hammer is back to shoot the other one as well. Please don't keep ignoring all of your long-loyal users, thinking that they'll continue to wait interminably.