What can I say? You'd have to be crazy not to get this package if you need to record projects!!!!
I'm a professional, and have been using Digital Performer for about 5 years, but I was using Pro Tools(free) just for audio editing. But I always missed the PT GUI, until now. I can definetly speak about the MBox because I just got finished using it for an all day recording project about 4 days ago of this writing. In a nutshell, it's awesome! It gave me exactely what I wanted in spades. Didn't worry about any crashes, and the hardware is extremely clean! The Focusrite Pre's are very clean, and the A/D converters are very clean. Everything performed fluidly, and no steep learning curves.
Did I mention this whole thing is about $450 ! There is nothing else out on the market that can give you 24 tracks of digital recording, f/x two mic pre's by Focusrite, SPDIF I/O's, Stereo Analog Outs, and Stereo Analog inserts, and headphone jacks, all for $450, nothing!!!!
And it's USB so you could have a iBook, or PowerBook and this thing and you're set. But yes of course, with everything there is a down side. And for Pro Tools it's still the same, MIDI. No the MIDI isn't that big of a deal to me. My emphasis is definetly more on audio than midi (which is one of the reasons I'm not using Digital Performer anymore), but I'm not saying that you can create good sequences on this, that's just not true. It's just that Pro Tools was never designed to be a dedicated sequencer app like Logic, Cubase, Cakewalk, or Digital Performer. It's an audio app with sequencing later. If that's a problem then I would suggest sticking with something else, but other than that it can't be beat for the price, period. Let me also mention that this is great for beginner or pro's. And it makes me feel good to know that I can record an entire project on my MBox and then burn that session to a CD, take that CD to a commercial studio running a $40,000 Pro Tools systm, and it's completely compatible. That to me deserves a 10!