I JUST got done going through it. Yes, it requires a USB dongle that is supposed to store all your keys in one place. How convenient if I could get it to work. Still, I have been using Cubase since the Atari ST and once you get used to grinding a tad of sand into that cut, you'll love it. It is SO good that once you DO put forth the effort to plumb the depths, you likely will be using it forever as flashy as some other stuff looks, you simply CAN with Cubase. IF you can't, it's NOT the programs fault! As reviewed, it is DEEP. You won't learn it just by blasting away although you could make some respectable music that way. Cubase is mature and crafty. It'll hide what you want at times until you learn it's trick. Once you do, you have taken one step further along the Cubase road.
I went 64 bit Vista Ultimate/Win 7 when out, 8 gigs of ram and really fast hardware, an Echo Layla 24/96, a Behringer Powerplay Pro-8 and fine monitors/amplifiers. The Layla sounds fantastic and I am using the Control Room in Cubase which is a really fine monitor mixer. Using the Behringer, I have 4 discrete headphone mixes, a main mix and a "guest" mix. Using Pandora boxes, Triton Extreme and Roland drums, I can blast away at any hour and have virtually no complaints about the cue mix! A miracle.
If you have the cash, your choice for DAW? For me, there's just the one.