High Design CAD,by far,blows away the competition in terms price,easy user intuitive GUI and feature set. True,there is no native Acad .dwg support (I am not sure why this is,either. Because,many of the lower priced CAD competitors do support .dwg),but the .dxf import/export works great! To Melvin Smart & mac daddy,what versions of Acad are both of you using?Currently .dxf support extends to only Acad 12,14 & 2000. When you export to .dxf you need to make sure you choose a lower Acad .dxf version to export to and everythimg will work fine.
Did both of you even try to work with this program even though you couldn't open a native Acad file? Come on, the UI is cleaner,easier and more elegant to navigate tha Acad,lots of editability/customability of geometry,text and images,Hatch/fill pattern custom creation with ability to layer and combine multiple hatch/fill patterns in a single custom created hatch/fill,in program creation of bit-images, good color support,there is multi-sheet functionality within a single document file,transparency of sheets,layers,objects,bit-mapped images
import/export to virtually every current conceivable bit-map image format in existence. I agree,at its current release(1.1.1),I find,too,that rendering is much easier done in an outside image editing or 3d app.(I use Adobe Photoshop 7/CS,Corel Painter 7),but decent professional-looking rendering can be done within High Design with a some additional effort. (I am currently working on a rendering excercise in this program to see what level of rendering I can get out of just working within High Design).As far as your comments about buying Vectorworks and Cinema 4D that should just about blow two grand. If you want to be able to do an easy to use Cad app but still need to do easy,but professional-looking rendering, Denaba Canvas at $349-399 blows your option away! If you use High Design with an easy to use 3d app,like Sketchup,that still comes in at a lower price point.Price would be about same if you use High Design with a painting/image editing program like I use. Heck, AutoCad LT can't even beat the cost of High Design's Pro version.
Think some of you need to revisit this app and give it the try it deserves. I am a Acad user also, and I was able to learn this program within a very short time with NO help from the manual until recently.
It's only real pain is that you can't open multiple files at once if you need to cut/paste geometry from one document to another.
Other than that,this program works like a Mac CAD package designed and developed for Mac designers.