Thought I'd revive this for the new year! I too was on a controller quest. Best advice someone gave me was to have a well-thought out studio set-up rather than trying to make puzzle pieces of gear 'fit' just as one goes along. Fresh out of years in military and now disabled AND retired, kinda needed to start all over anyway. I KNEW Pro Tools would be my DAW, then simply read ALOT and did my research in association with the hardware synths I have: Alesis Ion (new O.S. fixed midi/cc issues), Alesis Fusion, Micron, QS8 (my only rompler and a VERY great key action ever felt with extensive midi abilities), a Waldorf Micro Q Rack, and a Novation Supernova Rack with new O.S. 20 voice. Already bought the M-Audio Fast Track C-600 Audio Interface with the Pro Tools, so the midi controller needed to be something compatible with automapping with ProTools. I DID buy a Novation SL61 MKII controller with Automap and although it HAS template for ProTools, I felt the having to "wrap" all my plug-ins and alot of other nonsensical things were making things more complicated. Now, Novation USED to make awesome synths and WILL say the build-quality, key-action, and just plain "cool-factor" visually is there, but alas, it now lives in my closet should I sell it later, etc., and am really HAPPY with M-Audio's Axiom PRO 61 with HyperControl technology. It works with other DAW's but it is like the perfect marriage with ProTools, it definitely is the best key-action controller with plethora of features I am sure will be still discovering a year or more from now. I WILL admit I too was never wowed by m-audio's key-action but I think since AVID/Digidesign bought M-Audio, the quality is vastly improved. The C-600 audio interface is proof of that with the Axiom Pro following suit! FYI--buying your Desktop PC for recording/playback should never be an after-thought or just trying to make something work. Read and research compatibilities posted on all maker's websites so you are only purchasing things once and also ensure your system can be added to as needed. What I did like on the Novation controller was the fact there are two midi outs, but now I can just use midi thru any of my rack synths, etc. but if I get any other sythns in future, they will more than likely be something along line of an all in one monster like new Spectrasonics OmniSphere....see, THAT is planning it all out and yes, it IS an investment...cannot place a price on 'sanity' and it beats being in the God-aweful hot big kitty litter box for years more called the Middle East!!! LOL! Hope this helps at least one person! Peace!