Just to add some value to this thread, I thought I would follow up with what eventually happened.
I purchased EZDrummer. I reviewed all similar packages in it's class and price for value, and EZD seemed to have better ROI.
I learned that there are a couple of different types of packages in the 'class' I was targeting:
- samples/loops driven by midi files
- standalone samples/loops (ie companies that deliver gb's of samples and an application to find and tweak them. Very little or no midi involved.
EZDrummer falls in the first group. It has a whack of midi files they call grooves that are mapped in a proprietary manner (ie not GM compliant) to their sampled kits. This is good and bad. They have setup some good samples, but their kits are missing percussion instruments like congas, claves etc unless you purchase an upgrade pack. I had to figure out a custom method of mapping in some of those missing sounds and it ended up being a trade off between EZD sounds and GM percussion where mappings overlapped.
The whole approach to using midi files to drive samples, I think, is the best approach as it gives you the most flexibility. The tradeoff is you don't get some of the awesome performances of top flite drummers (and their feel) as you would in a straight sample.
Where I see a need in applications like EZD, Addictive and some others is that they really don't have a good way to manage their midi library - they have good GUI's for finding grooves (particularly Addictive)- but what I would really like to see is a user-managed list driven approach, so that the user could queue up a 'song' of midi files and have them played through within the application. As it is now, the user must go back a forth between the application and Logic to get grooves to build their song: it's _really_ time consuming and cumbersome.
The exception to this observation is BFD. I, with my dork hat on, completely missed evaluating this great package. As it turns out I would have purchased it: it has a midi file manager to my liking along with great sounds etc..oh well..live learn and spend :) I will try to find a used copy on ebay.
If you are looking for _really_ good 3rd party grooves, check out GrooveMonkee - this is excellent stuff and the ProducerPack is a great value. Customer service is first rate too.