Conclusion:For an individual user that does prototype work, I feel HSMWorks is the best trade-off with price, ease-of-use, and capability. I do want full 3D. My machinist buddy Dave Ruigh told me: "Getting nice looking 3D is an art. You need lotsa brushes. Flowline, waterline, parallel, Z level, and one of my favorites, projected surface, where you create a 2d profile on a plane and project it on the part surfaces. I'm not sure I'd be happy with just two multi-surface toolpaths, even if they claim they can do everything. Of course it was 20 years ago, but I had Pro/Mfg and Mastercam, and the Palm Pilot cases took a combination of many toolpaths and manual editing to make them halfway nice. Those were production parts, so it didn't matter how long it took to program, once I had good code, I was set. Dealing with that level of hassle for prototypes and one-offs can be maddening."
Both MasterCAM and SolidCAM get a little pricey for full 3D. Since most all the CAM programs use the ModuleWorks 3D module, there is not a lot of difference. I hate the simulator in MasterCAM and BobCAD. HSMWorks is a little goofy to set up, but I love how everything is done in the tree side-panel, instead of giant dialogs that just make your wrist hurt as you navigate. I wish VisualMill was more stable, I am sure it works fine in most desktops with any sane video setup, unlike my 4-monitor laptop. That $2500 Expert VisualMill for SolidWorks package would be tempting.
Now that I bought HSMWorks, my biggest fear is that AutoDesk will drop it, since they are mortal enemies of SolidWorks. Still, being able to do CAM inside SolidWorks gives AutoDesk considerable bragging rights. Let's hope they want to keep bragging for a decade or two.