MacMacMac I use sample-based virtual pianos. I don't do music production of any kind. I play in real time always.
Someone else played the instrument somewhere else and you're listening to readily produced recordings you trigger through MIDI in real time. That is music production. Real time or not doesn't make the difference. Many tasks of music production are done in real time.
Playing a real piano is a complex feedback-loop between the pianist, the action, the strings, the soundboard, the room and the audience. A combination of skill in technicians, composers and performers create a tone, a performance, and consecutively a recording.
That skill is conserved inside a VST plugin, that's why they sell well. And that's why you only need to compose some MIDI data get a perfectly sounding piano experience.
CyberGene Yes, that's my experience as well. BTW, I don't know anymore about that "PT is more playable" thing. It has been repeated ad nauseam and becomes a catchphrase that many people seem to repeat without actually knowing what they mean by that (not referring to people in this thread but many people on PW, etc.).
It's true that Pianoteq has a larger amateur following and selling presets as "add-ons" is an ingenious idea from a business perspective. And with enough people buying into that, there is an incentive to actually cater the software somewhat to that audience.
But for professionals the software is just intended to be a "good-enough" replacement for sample VSTs without the memory and storage footprint in a kind of swiss multi-tool fashion which is reflected by the pro version containing every preset and possible setting.