CAUTION: long post ahead.
Today I decided to check out any recent updates to the Outpost Pro firewall review page and your red warning text hit me like an old Hai Karate slap! I was going to immediately slam out a scathing reply; or at least fire off a long defensive post. Fortunately I decided to follow your links to the OPP forums (where I'm a long time reader and occasional poster) and find out what happened to change your position. After all, I too have been using OP since the OP Free days and your sudden change of heart caught me way off guard.
I read your posts over at the OPP forums and the followups and then checked out the rest of the posts here. (I was beginning to calm down somewhat.) Then I factored in the other posts at the OPP forum that I've followed over the past 4-6 months (since version 3.x was released.) I don't read every thread, but I'd say probably75% make it to my eyes.
I say all that - to say that I do think that you may (I say MAY) be overstating the situation. I use OPP v3.0.543.5722 (431) running under WinME and, yes, I have some problems with the current version but nothing like BSOD's or the like. Many (most?) posters at the OPP forums run XP and have been able to get OPP to run acceptably well with a little (lot?) tweaking.
What I'm saying is that perhaps you could clarify your statement. OPP is really not for the ZoneAlarm Free type of user. I know the promos claim it works "Out of the box" and all, and I suppose it does, usually, but it really shines for people that like to "get their hands a little dirty" by refining the various system and application rules. The recent addition of the "quick-tune" plug-in and the anti-spyware plug-in do smack of ZoneAlarm's propensity for bloat, but they and any/all of the plug-ins can be turned off without any cost to system stability or resources.
I believe that most users that are willing to dig into the myriad of settings, rules options, plug-ins and the like can, (with the most excellent help of the OPP forum admins and users) get an OPP installation that will be second to none in inbound/outbound security and configurability.
Granted, there are some hardware/software combinations that just don't work out, but is that so surprising when one factor is as low-level as a software firewall must be? Given the simple fact that there exists such a large and ever-growing, very dedicated, OPP user following (despite Agnitum's direct support being quite possibly the worst in the industry) is direct evidence that the program is worth some effort.
Well, I guess I still ended up with a long and somewhat defensive post, but certainly different than the one I started to write. At any rate, I hope your having taken the bold step of such a recommendation will impact Agnitum in a positive way. I respect you tremendously for having taken the time to post your concerns and an explanation in a calm and reasonable way on both this forum and over at the OPP forums. I know the mods there value your input and candor.
There's certainly no doubt that OPP could be greatly improved and perhaps your involvement will help in some way. Meanwhile here's hoping that anyone who wants to "give it a go" will stop by the OPP forums (linkto:"http://www.outpostfirewall.com/forum
"). They make the effort a lot easier!
Sorry for the long post. Keep up the great work here!