I don`t use the open source programs because they are free, I use them because they work.
AppleCart may be the best thing since applesauce.
I just think your implication that the open source programs are problematic is not entirely accurate. Sure, there are add-ons that may be "buggy"... those are typically created by someone to fullfill a specific need for the creator, then shared with the open source users. Those add-ons are easily avoided because the open source community notes any problems. I would hope you would not choose an add-on that doesn`t work properly.
When evaluating what ecommerce solution to choose (aside from any web designer`s involvement) you need to consider your current and future online and business needs and determine if the program can provide for those needs. Each program has strengths and weaknesses compared to others.
So I`m assuming that if you discovered a shopping cart solution that worked even better than your osCommerce or ZenCart - that you would consider using that program as well?
I just find it interesting that many of the gurus here have claimed that AppleCart is outdated, ineffective, and simply a "piece of junk".
But when you look at the ease of use, the multi-functions, the expanded capabilities including an in-house gift certificate module, a fully integrated off-line data base management system, full system support, and FREE updates - and extraordinary results with the search engines - why would anyone consider an "open source" solution such as osCommerce or ZenCart?
Whats in it for the "gurus"? Why stay stuck on providing a Ford Pinto when you can have Corvette? Unless of course, they can keep a customer "locked in" as their customer by writing "special scripts" that can`t be modified, except by them? Hmmmmm....
With AppleCart, the gurus still can have a stream of revenue as a VAR, - or even by re-designing the display templates, since they are html based. But they don`t need to write any code, since the AppleCat solution is fully supported by the design company, Spads.com. The data base is exported as a flat file, so the template fields are easily editable. (Getting way too technical here. )
Unless of course - the client has no money. But then we have already gone down that road before, eh?.