The best part about Sound Forge is that it feels like a native Windows program. Therefore its interface appears intuitive to a person who has worked with Windows, while also being fast. Navigating through menus and dialogs, and using keyboard shortcuts, don't have to be learn a new. This is not the case with any Adobe products (either old or new), or freely distributed software, which feel more or less foreign, like Linux. (GoldWave might be an exception, but it of different class.)
Here I am describing product versions 4 through 7. After that the program acquired more weight and got slower. This is not the fault of Sony alone. I feel like they were struggling to justify releasing major versions, and had to add superficial features to the package. Sony Sound Forge 7.0a is the last fast version out there for editing in stereo. And it does feel like a point version of 6, much like 4.5 was, unless you count adding the Sony logo on all dialogs a significant improvement. Overall, I'd say 7.0 is more stable, and allows to use modern native plugins (ac3plug pro, atracplug), as well as some DirectX ones (like Izotope Ozone), which didn't work in the previous release.
The effects and processors included with Forge prior to version 9 are not up to the current professional and "HD-era" standards. I find that DX effects from Izotope, and VST and ASIO support in REAPER and Foobar2000, complement this deficiency, while still allowing to use Sound Forge for sample-exact editing. The other tools work on clip or track level and have different applications.
I'd use 9.0 and above only for work with surround mixes.
Review by j7n
Jun 22, 2014 Version: 7.0
OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10
Value for money: 8/10