Pads Logic was a free tool and hooked with Pads Layout. It's smart but function limited. Dxdesigenr is an unerverisal design entry tool, it support virtually all main stream layout systems, it have integrated with Expeditionpcb and Pads Layout ，including 3rd party's layut systems from Cadence and Zuken. More important, Dxdesigner also support to simulate Spice with Hyperynx Analog installed, support to FPGA-board co-design, have a comprehensive contranints manger, intergration with DMS(data management system), also it has good interface with Agilent ADS, ADR Microwave office.
I see from another post of your that you are an OrCAD guy. Many designers use OrCAD for schematic entry and PADs for layout. If you have OrCAD available, stick with what you know. If you want to switch to DxDesigner, you will have to get through its learning curve.
I have used Orcad at 3 different companies, for a total of 7 years, PadLogic too numerous to bother to count, and DxDesigner at 3 different companies for a total of 9 years, it is what I now use. Previous was Orcad.
One thing you should know if you stick with Orcad, you will lose functionality, the main one being cross probing between schematic and layout. Once you have used it, you'll not be able to live without it.
There used to be third party software available, but even that was a compromise and did not work as well, not to mention the usual problem of getting them to work together with new releases. PADSLogic is the lower end tool, DxDesigner a little more difficult to learn, but well worth the initial extra effort. DxDesigner was a universal tool long before Mentor bought it. In this global economy it is the one of the three you want on your resume. One advantage that DxD has over the other two is that their are numerous people with expert level knowledge that can answer questions. I have never run across a person I would consider an Orcad or PadLogic expert, and not sure why anybody would want to be.
"Drinking from a firehose"...very apt-exactly how I felt (still feel?).
I am a former PCAD user, all the way from Tango SCH?PCB times.
I think it depends on the complexity of the designs you're working on.
My designs are all fairly simple, throughhole designs, so PADS Logic is working fine for me.
I tried to use DxDesigner at first, instead of Logic, but my vendor told me that I really needed the library manager, which was not included with the PADS ES suite that we purchased.
I wasn't going to ask my new employer to buy an additional license after buying the ES suite, so I started using Logic.
It seems fine so far.