oleg7, quartet might be enough if you use it as follows:
1. Livesynth/Live - Styler - Accompaniment
2. Kontakt - Lead/Melody Voices
3. & 4. For other instances of VSTi or DXi
The effects do not require a separate instance. I assume this will be true in the future for Audio In & Vocal Harmonizers.
You would need the ensemble if you are into using many instances of synths. I will likely get the ensemble even if the quartet looks like it would be enough for my use. Oh well - I always over design!!!
I agree with you it is relatively expensive. It costs the same or more than V-Stack or RT Player Pro but it can do more for live performances, e.g., Scenes - midi/audio setups, etc. It costs very much less than Project5, but Project5 may work better and is supported by a larger company. Finally, there are the low cost/free hosts, e.g., Console, Chainer, etc. which may be good enough for general use.
[This message has been edited by Frank L. Rosenthal (edited 09-05-2003).]