I've been a user and big fan of Nero since version 2.0 having moved from Cequadrat WinOnCD back in the 90's. I guess I have the same disillusionment as everyone else - the product reached its functional peak certainly by 6.0 and everything else has just been filler. I think it is the usual problem of business managers thinking "we have to diversify or die. What else can we do with this product?" and losing all understanding of who the customer is, what they need to do and why. Still, it has worked for them up to now as they have obliterated the competition.
In the past I have felt the need to purchase upgrades to newer versions of Nero, such as the move to 6.6 to support my latest DVD burner but the upgrade to 7.0 just to potentially support any future hardware I may purchase (blu-ray?) whilst getting a load of useless add-ons just doesn't interest me, especially for a hefty premium. I don't need the ability to encode/decode/transcode a million different formats, I don't need home movie editing or wave/mp3 file editing and even if I did I doubt I would use Nero to do it.
It is worth noting that Nero has gone from a 5mb download with version 5.0 (I've just checked this and it was initially 4mb for early versions of 5.0!) to well over 100mb for version 6.6 and 7.0 with all of the features. Bloated and directionless are words that come to mind.
Ahead should market and sell the core Nero burning program without the rest of the baggage, for a small cost, and I'll be interested (along with many other people no doubt).
I have since moved to Traxdata/Prassi ONES and despite the poor support I'm really happy with the product as it is simple, yet powerful and focused on the task of burning my CD/DVDs.http://shop.traxdata.fr/