Regarding the versions...
I have used Xara since before it was called Xara (ArtWorks on the Archimedies) and have to say that each and every update has brought great new features that really add to the product.
There is nothing about the program that could reasonably be called bloat, either in resources or feature set.
I said it before, but it is worth saying again... please, if you think that you might ever want to create any vecotr art, try Xara's product.
I have tried the competitors... Illustrator, Fireworks, Inkscape, RealDraw, CorelDraw and even though all of those have at least one unique feature, I always end up back with Xara.
It is so darned small, so fast, so intuitive - and it has a small but friendly community who are alway there to help.