I have done a fair amount of real work in Live 8 and 9. People who love the Ableton "workflow" are usually talking about Session View, which I simply never found a use for. Every track I completed in live was done entirely in Live's Arrangement view, which is more or less like Cubase's piano roll. I understand Session View, and think it offers lots of opportunities for both DJs and composers- but it's just not how I think when I'm making music. I write and track in a very linear fashion, so Session View's no good to me.
I actually really like Live's "everything in one window" philosophy. Even now that they added dual monitor support, you still see nearly everything you need on a single screen without having to shift around a bunch of windows. Live also has really nice audio and MIDI routing capabilities.
Even though I had fun working in Live, I always came back to Cubase, and the reason is pretty simple: Cubase does more. Much more powerful MIDI editing. SysEx support. VST3. VariAudio. More (and often better) bundled plugins. Plus the Cubase Mix Console- much as folks seem to complain about it- is much more useful and usable than anything Live currently offers for mixing.
Live is a fine DAW. I think it actually might be the best "beginner's DAW" too because of all the built-in help and the simple layout. But Cubase just plain does more. (EDIT: Especially Cubase 7.5. The track visibility and track instruments updates were entirely worth it for me.)