I think it's very obvious that Roland is aiming at a different approach with the VA series. I know MANY pro players that don't need a whole lot of real time control to do a great job. A good friend of mine is still working FULL TIME with a single keyboard and an OLD Roland drum machine - he makes MORE that any of us on this site. If my style was different, maybe the VA7 would be OK at work, but I'm sure alot of players like the "lack" of buttons to confuse them. Not my cup of tea, but then again.... I'm a coffee drinker!
Every instrument, every voice, every sound in nature ... these are are all my private tutors ... 24/7 for free, and all I have to do is listen.