Ha ha ha!!! I’ve only been using Cubase (and WaveLab) for three months and came to the same conclusion. For all my hair-pulling, your comment is cathartic and appreciated. Under the hood, these products are wildly powerful, but between the ‘inventive’ UI elements, the unintuitive menu structure, and the documentation (that reads like a provisional patent application), they’re unnecessarily difficult to grasp. I sincerely wish Steinberg would reach outside their immediate labor pool and contract a dedicated UI expert to perform a usability study and recommend standard/popular UI conventions where appropriate. And, while I’m ranting, that includes following best practices for readability and negative space. That is to say, cramming as much of everything into as little space as possible eventually produces diminished returns.
And I agree with what has already been said: Where there are sufficient supporters on both sides of a usability debate, offer a choice in Preferences. [Or, stick with tradition and hide it in a submenu somewhere.]
Now, Steinberg, since I’m so eternally upset, here’s my $99 upgrade fee.