I work on an older version of Cubase, VST 5.1 and I am very happy with it. It does everything I need to do in a way that I understand. I can do up to 72 tracks and I can run as many plugs at once as I wish ... I am limited to 24/48 or 44.1 operation, but that's cool, It sounds great to meeeee!
All that being said, if I were to be starting over now .... I would probably lean in the direction you seem to be headed ... a Pro Tools le system (I would choose a PC / XP Pro based system) ... Not because it is better than everything else, because it isn't. It is very limited as to what choices you can make in terms of hardware and how many tracks you can run. That's the beauty of it, in one way. You won't have to fuss about which interface and sound card you want ... Digidesign makes that desicion for you ... it's going to be an M box, an 002 or a 002 rack. The software is already decided for you, PT le .... and what plugs you want will be limited to what runs with PT. When an annoying client asks for more overdubs, you can tell them "No can do .. we're out, 32 tracks is all I have." This can be a real time saver! Mixes will go faster because you have less to do ... Also you won't have to make any desicions regarding upgrades. They will be coming every 8 months or so like clock work and if you get behind, don't worry ... you can just buy another whole PT system every two years ... you are made entirely of money aren't you?
With PT you don't have to think or be bothered with all these pesky desicions .. software, sound card, interfaces or worry about conflict issues between different pieces of hardware, or if you can get a better deal somewhere. This way you won't have to learn your way around a computer ... another big plus. Last, you will be able to exchange files with all the other users of Pro Tools.