Finale/Sibelius question

So the time has come where I no longer have any projects originating in Sibelius.  I have been requesting the wind and brass arrangers to save their Finale scores as XML.  I would then go in and spend the better part of 4 or 5 hours cleaning up the score and getting it to the point of where I can begin actual work in Sibelius.  So now that none of the arrangers I am working with are using Sibelius I am considering upgrading my old Finale 2004 to 2008. 

The whole point of this post is to find out from those of you who are fairly fluent on both if Finale 2008 can be used as efficiently as Sibelius?  I am not trying to get into a Sibelius vs. Finale flame war, but I am messing with the demo for Finale 08 and even going through the tutorials, I find it to be a much slower process that requires an awful lot of mouse usage.  I know that you can't go into Finale trying to use it like Sibelius, but I am just worried about work flow.  Any thoughts?

Workflow is always going to be a concern - especially when moving from a program that you are familiar with.�� I have been a Finale user since Finale 97 and still use the program almost exclusively.�� I did use Sibelius 2,3,4 so that I was fluent with the program for a few years, but ended up switching back.

I have tried going back to Sibelius (for the purpose of being familiar, etc) and I find it difficult to do so.�� This is because I have been familiar with another workflow for so long.�� I was able to pick up Finale right where I left off.�� This is going to be a question of which you like better.�� I am able to get very professional looking scores and get the job done with Finale with much ease.�� I also want to get back on the Sibelius ";Train"; for the purpose of helping people�� better and being more compatible.�� Any of the top publishers obviously are using both.�� Most use Finale almost exclusively as I understand, but they will use both because they have to.

Finale has some great features that are not going to be fully realized with the DEMO and I would shy away from making your judgment on ANY [b]limited[/b] Demo of a program.�� Finale does have a 30-day return policy where you can have the freedom to upgrade knowing that within 30-days if you don't like it you can return it - no questions asked.�� That seems pretty flexible to me.�� Sibelius may have the same - I cannot recall.

I just want to reiterate, I can't stress enough the importance of being able to work with both programs if you are in a situation where you are engraving or dealing with customers who use both.�� That knowledge is not had by most people.�� I wish I had it again�� :)�� I think you will find that Finale is easy to pick up once you understand where things are in the program (as they are very different than Sibelius) and understand the compatibilities with the SmartMusic program as a great teaching tool that can be used - yes even by percussionists.�� We are working on getting some Finale/VDL videos up on the site similar to the Sibelius videos currently available.�� We are making sure they are top quality and have the best information for you guys so that each program is easy to follow and use with VDL.

Don't get discouraged too fast.�� Just make sure that you leave time for learning.�� trying to force the learning of ANY program is not going to be the best way to determine which is better.�� They are all different.�� :)
Thanks Scott!  I can remember switching from Finale to Sibelius 5 years ago.  Sibelius seemed so difficult until I had a sit down session with Key Poulan and saw him work in it and the light went off.  I remember wondering how I ever used Finale as it seemed so much more complicated to get the same things done, especially with articulations.  Looking back on it though, I think the real reason was that I never really learned the efficient way to use Finale.  I think that it must be as easy once you get into the idealogy of how and why Finale is set up to work the way it is. 

I think I will make the plunge and jump into Finale again.  I figure the amount of time I will spend converting and cleaning up XML files for use in Sibelius could be used in learning to use Finale the right way. 

Any other advice from anyone is always greatly appreciated!
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