nwu Since the VSL CFX is so well loved, I'm curious if you had ever used the Garritan CFX and what you thought of it. Which one of the CFXs did you prefer?
Yes, I also have the Garritan CFX. The Garritan has really exceptional playability - maybe the most realistic of any virtual piano I've tried. But I've never really been a huge fan of the recorded sound of the instrument itself, which for whatever reason comes off as a bit sterile and lifeless to me.
I find that the VSL CFX has more presence, bite, and tonal variation, and greater possibilities for customizing the sound via mic mixes. It also has excellent playability, so on balance I prefer it over the Garritan
I would never get rid of the Garritan, however, as it's something of a reference for great playability in a sampled piano.
I agree with you about the 280VC, by the way - it can be a bit harsh on the top end, and certainly doesn't have the lushness and color of some other instruments, but it's so clear, crisp and well defined that I find it very useful for practicing. You simply can't "fudge over" anything, so it helps sharpen your articulation.