I received my copy of Kirk Hunter's Ruby yesterday and have had a couple hours to play around. As a caveat, my only experience with orchestral libraries is with GPO Personal Orchestra, so I can't compare this to other high-end systems.
Well, I'm absolutely floored with the quality and ease of use of Ruby! First, to the ease of use, the organization of the library is very simple in approach with all instruments in simple subdirectories and easily labled in order to find what you're looking for. Once an instrument is loaded, the articulations are all accessible by a tab in the Kontakt instrument interface, keyswitches or both. So, if you load a solo violin, you can switch from adagio, vivo, marcato, etc. with the simple push of a button on the interface or a keyswitch. I haven't tried using midi commands yet. Needless to say, this is a fantastically simple way to move between articulations.
The InteraLive feature is tremendously useful, natural sounding and fun. This feature allows the user to play a note, hold the pitchwheel up or down, play another note and initiate a slide from note to note. The amount of slide depends on how much you move the pitchwheel. The result is a beautiful and natural movement from one note to another. This is more marked in strings as opposed to brass or woodwinds as it should be. You simply can't make this feature sound bad. On strings it is particularly enjoyable to work with.
It's too early for me to make an assessment of the "legato live" and "human pitch correction" features, and also having never used another such library, I'm not sure I could assess these features properly with no basis of comparison. However, I will say that note to note playing with any articulation, and use of the modulation wheel, produces amazingly realistic transitions. I really feel that I am playing a live instrument, which was hoped for, but I didn't expect such realism quite frankly.
Finally, I will say that I simply love the string sections! Last night I was fooling around with the "romantic violin" and felt like I was Mark O'Connor. The sound is simply gorgeous and lush, but with a sensitivity and emotion that must be heard to be appreciated. I'm thrilled with the strings in general.
Woodwinds are also very nice. I particularly like the oboe. Brass instruments are also very well executed with trombone being my favorite so far. I shouldn't say much more here as I have literally just fooled around for a couple of hours exploring sounds for very brief periods.
Well in closing, I can easily see myself upgrading to the full version of Diamond. I probably don't need the additional instruments but for the price this purchase is a joy. I would be happy at twice the price.
Oh, and I forgot to mention delivery and installation! I ordered Ruby late on Tuesday night via paypal and received it USPS on Friday morning. This was from California to Washington DC, so can't complain about that!
The harddrive installation was, well, my 80 year old mother could do it. I simply dragged and dropped a folder from the included 80gig portable drive to my 1TB external and watched TV for about 30 minutes. Obviously this was much easier and tremendously faster then dealing with DVDs. The directory structure is broken down into DVD size chunks, so backing up to a DVD library is also going to be drag and drop easy! In fact I'm heading to the store to buy some more media to do just that. All Kontakt instruments are in the first subdirectory with subsequent subdirectories (labeled 02,03,04, etc) containing the Wav files. Don't hesitate to be concerned about this delivery option!