Corel X3 - because I originally started with a MAC and Pagemaker, moved to IBM format computers and Pagemaker, then to Corel with version 1.0 and have been with it ever since.
That was back when my computer cost me a bundle. Ram was $100 a meg, my single spin CD rom was $700 and my vga monitor cost me $1200. Not to mention my first color printer was $4600. Now I think of computers as disposable after those prices. For me now when it breaks it goes in the trash and I get a new one.
Oh, wait. The question was about DTP. Corel all the way for my illustration designs.
I use to use primarily Quark Xpress but I now use InDesign. The adobe programs are completely compatible so there doesn't have to be a conversion of picture data. Meaning you don't have change your picture from .psd to .tif, or .eps (considering that you're working with photoshop) so the orginal .psd with layers, transparencies and everything is importable into the Indesign document. And there's no change in the picture the exact picture that you worked on in Photoshop is what you get in Indesign, and then later converted to .pdf for the print. I work almost extensively with pictures in my design so it's real important that the picture I work and see is what is in the layout with little to no change. Of course there's the change in color that occurs when RGB is convert to CMYK. But you learn to live with that. Quark is great and until I actually started with InDesign I thought I'ld never use a different program, and the only reason why I switched, was that my pictures (as .psd even) can be used in the orig. form from begin to print ready document.
I've tried InDesign and i know that came from Adobe so - all files fit but the productivity from Quark can not be found anywere else. For that even Adobe took the keyboard shortcuts and placed on their InDesign. I like InDesign, dont get me wrong but Quark remains my favourite. Until i will get to know InDesign verry well i will rely on Xpress.
I can't say that I'm yet as effiecient in Indesign as I once was with Quark, but I know these things take time, but at first I was like you, for pratice of fun InDesign but when something has to get done, then Quark. But then I just decided for one. ( Although they are both still installed on my computer!)
Corel Draw is very flexibile. At our company (advertising material development) we use to make displays; from the technical drawing to the graphics, everything is drawn in corel. Also it is suitable to create/export toolpaths for milling/cutting.
I noticed a lot of problems printing color separations from Corel... This eats a lot of money, until you learn all the little faults.
I'm using Illustrator too, but always had problems with selecting and the curve editing. Generally what is made in 10min in Corel, it tooks 20-30 in Illustrator :(
We receive a lot of materials in ai with placed psd or tiff files. It seems that big companies exclusively use adobe products... The problem comes when DTP uses Adobe adobe and the Printing Company Corel. A lot of incompatibility problems delay the project and in many cases the only solution is the complete remake of the entire graphic.
The hardest thing is to say, which one is better. First of all, who wants to compare two things must know each of them very good.
Professional studio, lighting, Canon equipment with L-grade lenses
My favorite is CorelDraw X3. Because I working on corel products since CorelDraw 1.0 and I think its very fast tool. I dont think Adobe illustrator is worst - its just harder for me change tools and start lerning from basic. I see no problem with compability - even exchange files with Illustrator in CorelDraw X3 is easy. And basic things - Corel Draw X3 is cheper then Any single product from Adobe on proffesional level but giving posibility almost like couple of softwares from adobe. Thats maks for me CorelDraw X3 seriously attractive. As creator I have no problem with acceptance of my work. If its good then its problem any agency how they can handle this work (of course I can send them in any possible format exported from CorelDraw X3)
Adobe software had been with the printing industry from the Mac's beginnings in the late 80's. Quark was best for page layout but no good for anything else. Adobe's programs have become the MUST HAVE for any serious graphics professional. There is no way I'm going back to Quark. Many times, people use the term "Quark" as a weird unexplanable glitch in a program. That is what I think of Quark. I think Quark's days are numbered unless they make some serious changes.
Apple MacPro with Adobe Creative Suite, GoPro Hero4
I personally prefer Indesign over quark for layout work and I really have never had to use Quark once I got out off College with the exception of converting a file over to be used in indesign. As for why I like it, There are many but I'd like to highlight the whole compatibility with adobe products as the best one. The fact that I can place PSD and AI Files is great. As for Corel it has it's place, I used it for 2.5 years making maps, it's kind of like illustrator and indesign with some compromises and has a strong presence in printshops and sign shops as it very good prepress capabilities. Now I'll leave it at that before I start to gripe about things that have been removed that I liked.
I have been using Quark since 1990 until recently, when upgraded my computer equipment I opted to buy the Adobe Creative Suite and wasn't prepared to spend the extra on Quark. I am not completely up to speed with Indesign yet, however, I am finding my way round.