We're glad to hear you are considering a switch! You're right, most of the top frameworks do have a lot of the same features. It sounds like you are pretty familiar with the features we both offer already, so here's a couple of other things to consider that I wouldn't call features necessarily:
1. Probably one of the biggest things is that we have completely converted all of our products to work on jquery. Currently Joomla 3.X supports both mootools and jquery, but mootools will be dropped soon. We saw this a while back and completed our conversion over a year ago. I cant say for sure, but I believe RT still heavily uses mootools as well as many other clubs.
3. Consider the club itself as well. We're a smaller team than what RT has, and that may sound like a negative, but it helps us get problems solved much faster because support moderators can work directly with developers to get issues resolved quickly. In fact the template itself is supported by the actual developer of the template in our support forums for at least the first two months after release. That means if there are bugs in any templates they are caught almost immediately because the developer is both developing and supporting the product. Our products go through a very rigorous testing phase before release, but bugs do slip through sometimes in the first month or two; after that it's pretty rare.
Those are the three main things I can think of. I am sure there are others that I'm missing, but I hope that helps!
Hey Mike! Thanks for the thoughts. They do indeed help me in the decision. I do have one other question, which I'll ask after a few thoughts.
I'll be honest, it took me a bit to be convinced that there was a better option than RT. And don't get me wrong, they have some excellent stuff and have improved immensely. But their framework, while flexible, doesn't currently hold a candle to what Vertex offers. Vertex has more module positions, more layout options, more flexible customization of backgrounds, colors, turning things on and off, etc.
I hadn't gone TOO deep into Vertex yet, so the stuff about turning off each part that you don't use is good to know. I do know that overall, Vertex is more complete as a framework. And the fact that we currently offer services for both Joomla and Wordpress, I like that it's for both(which was a draw for RT as well).
I think the addition of the font options, the better menu system, and the jquery support, I don't think there is a question. It's a tough thing to switch anything you're accustomed to, but I think a switch is coming!
My one hangup is the usage of the templates. I noticed after reading that you can't use templates on a client site without the developer membership. With RT, there is no such restriction. Of course, the VALUE of what you get is outstanding, so don't get me wrong, and I get why it is that way. But as I'm just starting my freelance work back up and doing a few "portfolio" sites at low cost, money is a little tighter. So I may have to use the templates for my own site, and hopefully move up later and not use the Shape5 sites for my freelance work for now.
Am I missing something on the restrictions, or does that sound correct? Can I use the base Vertex theme for client sites, or is that restricted as well? Not a deal breaker, but just not ideal.
I appreciate your help! Thanks!