alternative VST3 folder location?

is it possible to point Cubase to search for VST3(!) plugins in specific, user determined folders? (default is: Program Files/Common/VST3)

No, that folder is part of the VST3 spec. That’s what makes VST3 so beatiful.

I saw an ongoing thread about this in particular that got closed. I think maybe a good solution to this is for Steinberg to provide default VSTi and VST Effect categories, ie: Modulation->Flange, Dynamics->Compressor, etc. so that plugin developers can put the plugins in categories that actually make sense. My plugin arrangement is a mess now and people are starting to stop their VST 2 support.

Hi, I felt the same need some time ago. It took me some searching and in the end it is easy, straightforward and it works ok.
The best way to start is google for mklink windows.
I used the parameter /j , by the way.
Good luck.