This is basically a cut-and-paste of a PM I sent to Jeff last week. He turned me onto the program knowing how much I liked working with the original version of Vegas Pro.
I've been using Reaper for about a month now continuously, and I have to say, I'm absolutely LOVING it. It has so many functions that are serious time-savers, it never crashes like all the Vegas Pro programs did, and it's really easy to use.
I love being able to "glue" multiple crossfaded wav's into one big long wav file. That makes it so much easier to clean-up a directory loaded with files and keeps the multi-track seamless.
Also once I figured out how to do FX busses, I actually find it more intuitive than Vegas. I love how this is basically everything I loved about Vegas Pro 1.0, minus everything I hated about all the Vegas programs. You know Vegas 6 would crash for me everytime I mixed the tracks down to a stereo wav? Unbelieveable. Every time!! Also Vegas had trouble recognizing my new MOTU firewire input board. Reaper always finds it, no hassle. Seriously, I can't believe how easy this thing is.
Vegas 1.0 was a basic shell program that at most used about 20-30 Mb of RAM at any given time. Vegas 6.0 is a huge-ass hog that runs multiple programs in the background, like Sony Media Manager, that I just don't need and it takes about 200-300 Mb of RAM. So when you're recording 8 tracks at once on my old machine here, you get hitches, stutters, and crashes.
Contrast that with Reaper. Reaper is just like Vegas 1.0. It's a shell program. It only uses 30 Mb of RAM when recording, so just like when I used Vegas 1.0, I have no stutter at all when recording. It's great, and the functionality is waaay better than any version of Vegas ever was.
We're recording a 6-song EP soon that we're going to put out next year, and we're definitely using Reaper for it. I know a lot of you guys like Sonar, but I would seriously say give Reaper a shot, it's very intuitive, easy to use, and it makes so much more sense than Sonar it's not even funny. Plus you can use your own wav editor program (I use Cool Edit Pro 2.0 still, the best wav editor ever) and launch it from Reaper just like in the Vegas programs. I never was able to figure out how to do that in Sonar. Things that are hard to do in Sonar are easy in Reaper. Seriously, if you're a Windows user and record, give Reaper a try. It does full video, audio, MIDI, etc. It's awesome.
REAPER | About
It's shareware, you can use it indefinitely without ever buying it. After 30 days you'll get a little reminder to buy it, but you still get full functionality. If you're going to keep it, they ask for a $50 donation. If you run a studio professionally, they ask for $250. Either way it's a steal over $500 for Sonar or $519 for the new Sony Vegas 8.
Here's a screen cap of Reaper from their site. If you don't like the look, you can move things around and even get skins for it.
I love this software too. Works great with EZdrummer.