LW still amazes me with it’s ability (especially in 8) to provide a full suite of dynamics/cloth and even basic hair for such an incredibly low price. (not to mention not having to pay obscene prices for network render nodes)
In other applications if you want soft body and hard body dynamics or cloth support you’re going to start looking at price tags around 11,000 USD. In XSI if you want dynamics support beyond basic particle simulation you’ll be paying just that not to mention the essentials version does not have fxtree(one of my favorite things about XSI)/compositing tools. (XSI is probably my favorite environment to work in but I will never see it at home)
I think as 8 comes out and 8.5+ follows if Newtek keeps everything in line pushing features and better workflow for non-techies the market for LW will probably grow signifigantly. As it stands it is the ultimate freelancers toolbox still and will continue to be so unless the high end versions of Maya/XSI cut their prices down to LW levels on the high end versions(which is VERY unlikely).
Restricting yourself to just learning 1 app can become ones downfall in the industry. That’s like saying you can only use this box of colored pencils to make your art and this basic paper and no other media ever. You can’t give everyone what they want with just a box of colored pencils sometimes you need other tools to give someone what they want.
There is no wrong way or right way there are only tools. It’s what comes out in the end that is important.
I would like to say though it would be nice if Newtek released a LW Demo that is more on par with the Maya Demo or Softimage|XSI EXP demo the LW demo seems to be the most limiting of them all not giving you a chance to experience much.
(You can also get Maya demo and XSI demos with a Training Kit that contains tutorial book and tutorials CDs for those who want to broaden their horizons)
Sorry for swinging a bit off topic but I think some of this addresses some peoples concerns who have posted in this thread and especially directed at those who was asking xtrm3d about why he was using Maya.