OK so this is really my fault for not paying enough attention, but I have found that since using 2.5, I have often been ready to record something, so hit ESC and then SPACE, played my bit and then found that nothing actually recorded.
When in the pattern matrix, hitting escape just sets the focus to the right-hand pane. I don’t think this needs to happen really, because it’s still perfectly possibly to click record while in the pattern matrix anyway.
There was a specific reason to make the “esc” key change the focus rather than starting the record mode.
I forgot what exactly, but if the escape behavior changing the focus annoys you, can can also remove the shortcut assignment in the preferences.
There is no global record mode option for the pattern matrix, so the escape key would have had no function at all if it wasn’t assigned for focus changing.
It doesn’t annoy me that the focus changes, if i turned that off then it would do nothing at all - i just think that it should set focus to pattern view AND record. I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t.