I have E5000 for about two months. Here are some notes for beginers.
I have installed internal 6.5GB IDE drive for storing my sounds. I also have external CDRW YAMAHA 4416SCSI and IBM 730MB SCSI drive. They all are connected to my PC via SCSI adapter Adaptec 2940. I also have SCSI CD-ROM Tohiba 40x in my PC. When a PC starts it recognizes E5000 as a E-mu Emulator IV device.
2. Burning E-mu formatted CDR
Beacuse E-mu uses its own HD format I use a small 730MB HD to backup my sounds. First I format it in E-mu format (E5000 utility) and then backup (E5000 Backup utility) folders with banks from internal IDE HD to that 730MB HD. It's important not ot delete any backuped folders - a disk cannot be fragmented, and it should contain max. 650MB of data. Because old DOS program Disk2CD doesn't recognize my CDRW recorder I use older CDR drive: YAMAHA CDR400. When it's connected instead my 4416S, Disk2CD recognizes 730MB HD and CDRecorder and copies HD to a CDR. Because size of HD (730MB) is larger than CDR capacity it copies only the first 650MB of data - that's why disk shouldn't be fragmeneted. If I want to make more copies I can do CD copy of that burned CD in any PC CDR software. As far as I know it is the only way to make E-mu format CDR - a standard PC programs don't recognize that 730MB E-mu formatted drive.
3. Editing in PC
As I said before - my PC adapter recognizes E5000 as E-mu Emulator IV. I use Sound Forge 4.5 for editing sounds. It can exchange samples with my E5000. I use E-mu EIV (SCSI/SMDI) configuration. It sends information about names, loop points. I also tested WaveLab and ReCycle - they work fine my E5000.
4. E6400 and E5000
Well, I couldn't allow myself to buy E6400. But now I'm happy I bought E5000. Buying two E5000 seems to be better solution: RAM 2x128MB, if expanded - 2x32MIDI channels, when sequencing: timing of two different instruments is better than one, in live situation - you can play one and load samples to another, it can be backup sampler etc. If you think 64-voices of polyphony is so small think about AKAI - they for so many years were only 32-voice samplers, and: how many good productions were made with samplers/instruments with only 16 voice polyphony?
Listen to any demos before buying CDs. They are pretty expensive and most of EOS CDs contains about 50% of the same material (Proteus 1,2,3 Phatt and Orbit). E-mu is very lazy with creating new sounds. I have no problem with reading any AKAI Sample CDs - they sounds better than in AKAI samplers! E-mu E5000 has better DA converters and sounds more natural and warmer. It reads also Roland format but without ADSR envelope and you have to do some corrects (lop-pass filter instead Roland's de-emph.)
E5000 is really worth of its money.