I've said this before but I'll reiterate because it's a forum and I'm a guy with an opinion lol. When I was looking at the new features "on paper" (aka on Youtube) I thought... well it looks okay ; that mixer history is a must, and the docked editors will be a welcome change, so I guess I'll get the upgrade. I wasn't expecting all that much... and especially after browsing these forums, you practically feel like "ah hell everything's wrong. I guess I'll just give up on music then" :lol:
But I tell you, I was actually significantly surprised by what a step up it was. The lower zone, the new UI, and the mixer history... these things work together to make it a noticeably nicer experience than 8.5. And yes, of course I still have a Cubase wishlist, but I'm happy with it.
One thing I'm a little ambivalent about is the Frequency EQ. It's nice and all, but like many others have said, I have Pro Q 2, Acon Equalize, Neutron, Ozone, Filterscape, Melda Equalizer, etc. etc. etc. I tested it out and it's very nice, probably the nicest stock EQ I've ever used, but in a perfect world there is a laundry list of desired features I would have taken over that. That said, I guess i understand their need to keep up with other DAWs, practically all of which offer a full featured parametric EQ. I also think the option to make each individual module linear phase is novel and interesting. That said, people make a lot of fuss about Cubase as a DAW for professionals. (I hate this conversation but we'll only have to tolerate it for a couple sentences). You would think by the time you're a professional you'd already have a favorite EQ plugin. Not a criticism, just an observation.
Now that I think about it, I haven't even tried the VSTi audio inputs. I need to check and see if that works on my u-he synths.
Production grooves and the new content... I surely could have lived without. I would have traded that for about a million other things. But i guess if you have a DAW that comes with lots of content, you probably feel compelled to add some new stuff for a version upgrade.
Overall though, I use Cubase for its power, flexibility, and speed as pertains of my style of working with audio and midi. And that aspect has been improved... I dare say enough to warrant my $100. So there.