I don't remember what version of TC I was using - it was several years ago. I thought I would switch to TC because it had the ability to render shadows. However, I was never able to get lighting to work in a sensible way in TC, even after about a year of working with it regularly. Then shadows were incorporated into DesignCAD and TC was redundant.
It is funny, but the relative movement operations in DesignCAD make perfect sense to me - and they are extremely simple to use.
About moving the view - I use a macro that allows me to snap the view center to any visible object, and then the mouse allows me to rotate around that object. It is very simple to use. You are right about rotations being primarily around the Y axis, although you can rotate around the X and Z axes with the mouse. This appears to be unique to DesignCAD, and for a good reason. AutoCRUD was originally a 2D program that was used mainly for drawing floor plans in the XY plane. When 3D was added the original XY plane was made the default horizontal surface. This drove me nuts because all 2D profile views ended up on their side and had to be rotated into the XZ plane in 3D.
DesignCAD was created by a programmer who was originally a mechanical engineer. He knew that in 2D mathematical graphs the Y axis is vertical, and in 3D graphs the XZ plane is horizontal. That is the way DesignCAD is implemented - Y is the default vertical (you can change this if you want to). And in most cases when you view objects you want to rotate the view around the vertical. To me this makes far more sense than spinning them wildly around all three axes the way TC and AutoCRUD do.
Moving the work position couldn't be simpler. Literally! However, you must use the program the way it was designed, and not the way other programs were designed. That is a problem many users have when switching to DesignCAD. You need to forget everything you know about how more primitive programs work and learn how DesignCAD is intended to work.
There are two Selection Modes in DesignCAD - 2D and 3D. In 3D mode you must move the cursor in the X, Y and Z planes to position it close to objects. This is the way AutoCRUD and most other programs work, and your "flying around like in an airplane" cursor movement is necessary. It is an extremely primitive and labor intensive way to move around in a drawing, and you are right, DesignCAD doesn't do this very well.
From the earliest days DesignCAD was created to avoid all this time wasting "flying around" in the drawing. If you select 2D Selection Mode you just have to move the cursor near to any object and gravity snap and your work position has moved to that point - in all dimensions. It cannot get any simpler than that! You don't have to waste time "zooming around like you were in a little airplane." Of course TC and AutoCRUD do not have gravity snap so you have to fiddle with the cursor or waste time entering coordinates (if you know them). 2D selection mode and gravity snap are DesignCAD's greatest features, and the reason I prefer the program over all other CAD programs I have used.
For example, with DesignCAD if you want to move an object or a collection of objects you just set a reference handle then drag and snap the objects to any point on another object. You don't have to waste time entering X, Y and Z values. If you want to move the objects to a position not associated with any other object you just set the handle and use "Point Relative," "Point Polar" or "Point XYZ." Again, it is not possible for the operation to be simpler.
For what it is worth, in all the 26 years I have been using DesignCAD I have almost never paid attention to the XYZ positions of objects. It is totally unnecessary. That is one of the main reasons DesignCAD is simpler to use - everything is drawing relative and actual coordinates are irrelevant in most cases. The only times I have used drawing coordinates is when I was making maps from sets of geographic coordinates, or when I entered XYZ values from Tables of Offsets for ship's hulls. You can try to do everything with XYZ coordinates if you want to, but it is the wrong way to use DesignCAD.
One other time I pay attention to the actual coordinates is when I am exporting to a stereolith (STL) file where all coordinates must be positive. For this I just use the "Point/Origin" function to set the origin (0,0,0) so all of the drawing coordinates are positive - but I do this only after the drawing is complete. It is also a good idea to do this if you are exporting a drawing to some other CAD programs because they may have limitations on object positions (PC boards, for example, must have all positive coordinates). But in DesignCAD the actual position of the origin or the actual coordinates of points and objects can be totally irrelevant while creating the drawing.
Like I said, I used TC for quite a while and found it to be far more cumbersome and tiresome to use than DesignCAD. However, I have found that people who have experience in AutoCRUD (and TC?) find DesignCAD confusing precisely because the user interface is far more streamlined. They try to stumble along with all the unnecessary steps they are used to in other programs and DesignCAD just doesn't work that way.
You are correct about working around difficulties in DesignCAD - it isn't perfect. However, I am a beta tester for DesignCAD, and I am very aware of the "difficulties." It has far fewer "difficulties" than many of the other CAD programs I have used. I once worked with the ORCRUD circuit design program. I found and documented 122 repeatable ways to crash the program in just one week - all while following their tutorials! 25 of the crashes caused the "Blue Screen of Death." It cost many times as much as DesignCAD and barely worked at all.
All in all there are very few real "difficulties" in DesignCAD and the price is impossible to beat.