If you're like me and used to working in a digital audio timeline like Sony's Acid or Magix Music Maker or a step sequencer or piano roll, Sonar and Music Touch Creator will take a little bit of getting used to. Sonar has all of those as well but getting around and learning the interface is a bit more involved. For recording it is very pro and set up for mult track recording, its definite strong point.
Multiple lanes per track and easy punching in and out are among the program's very strong points. Also, doing live takes is a dream with this program so doing vocals and other analog instruments is a dream, though I don't often do so myself. The interface makes that part very easy and once you've set your preferences for a count-in and metronome, doing multiple tracks is no sweat.
The sound engine itself is great though you'll definitely need a bit of horsepower and patience and if you can afford it, multiple sound cards as well as ASIO tends to prefer to have the sound hardware all to itself. ASIO is another alternate driver layer much like DirectX designed for direct access to the sound hardware by applications. Without multiple sound cards, you may have to play around disabling a few programs on your system to find ones that use or reserve the sound card driver and interfere with ASIO.
The Cakewalk Sound Center is an amazing soft synth and has perhaps some of the best Acoustic Guitar, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos around and that comes from someone who used to play with the real electric pianos.
All in all an amazing value if you can get it on sale.
If not, still well worth the value when you add in the effects VSTs and the facilities and interface for doing your mix.
It's been a while since I've used any sort of digital audio workstation, as a matter of fact the last ones I used were a Korg M1 and Roland D-20 which are both hardware keyboards from the early 1990s during the renaissance of MIDI.
Since that time I've occasionally worked with software workstations like Realtime (Mac), Cakewalk (PC), Magix Music Maker and Sony Acid (made by the same team that brought you Sound Forge by the way).