After much deliberation, I finally broke down and purchased Kontakt 2. I had been using EXS24 with Logic for a long time, along with several Kompakt players (East West, etc.). But I found EXS somewhat limiting, and the instrument editing left much to be desired.
Anyway, yesterday I installed Kontakt 2 - and excluding the 15 minutes or so it took to copy the library over, the entire install process (including a glitch-free registration) took no more than 5 minutes. I'm not sure why people keep dogging NI about their registration system - I've never had a single problem with it...
Anyway, the VSL samples are phenomenal - at least when compared to Garritan Personal Orchestra. Yes, the CPU use is a bit heavy, and I'm quickly finding that my 2GB of RAM isn't quite enough (I need to max out at 4GB). I also got a copy of Kirk Hunter's Emerald and between that and VSL I can see that my days of using GPO are numbered...GPO has served me very well, but I can scarcely bring myself to use it with samples like these.
I'm really looking forward to using this...Just thought I'd share a positive experience with others who might be considering a similar jump.