I used MIDI Studio and XTracker (FT2 clone) in 1997 (what I could get my hands on), the went with Modplug Tracker in 1998, and still use it nowadays.
When I looked for new software in 2003 and after, I found Renoise, and saw a quite interesting demo of Renoise. However, at that time, I felt it lacked something.
2004 was the year I tried Fruity Loops. Loved the sound mixing quality compared to Modplug Tracker, but the app was hard to use.
2005, started using VSTs and VSTi in Modplug Tracker just before Olivier Lapicque stepped out and gave it to the community.
Used it extensively until I switched from Windows to Linux in 2008.
The app was still perfectly usable in Linux, but… Wine makes you not want to work with Windows apps. I don’t know how it does that.
During some period I did experiments with MadTracker, Buzz and Psycle (hated them) and BeRoTracker (a Modplug Tracker clone).
Nothing better than OpenMPT, which was improving during that time.
Fast forward to 2015 and Renoise 3.1 beta.
Tried the demo, expecting good progress from the last time I tried it. And boy what I found was excellent: good GUI, excellent sound,
built-in filters, automation, VST support (note that as 90% of the VSTs are made for Win and Mac, I have to use a VST bridge in Linux, which is a PITA),
and the “1 pattern per channel” paradigm where you can assemble and reuse existing channels in other patterns.
It really is not that far from a DAW, and no other soundtracker software can compare to it. By far. That’s what made me purchase the damn thing.