I have been a Cakewalk user since "Cakewalk Pro Audio 5.0." I've tried many sequencers from Cubase to Nuendo to Fruity Loops to Logic to Pro Tools over the years and I always come back to Cakewalk. Nothing, in my opinion, can beat its range of features, ease of use, and just general "fun" and "wow" factor. I highly recommend it.
Cakewalk Project 5 Version 2.5
This product is now discontinued but I still love the plugins. I honestly never even used the sequencing aspect of Project 5. The plugins sound excellent, don't waste much screen real estate, use a moderate amount of CPU, and are very easy to configure and tweak.
Sony Sound Forge
Sound Forge is a great destructive wave editor and that is what I use it for. Destructive editors seem to be thinning out in favor of non-destructive forms of editing. However, there are simply some things you can only do in a destructive sample editor that are not possible yet in non-destructive editing methods. Sound Forge shines in these areas. I highly recommend it.
• Avian Waves (LP CD)
• All We Can Do (SP 12")