I have to work with Flash and several other Adobe products at my day job as an AS3 programmer. Flash alone costs $700. It simply isn’t worth it and here’s yet another example of why:
Open source is the way and the truth and the light. Why? Because closed source expensive stuff isn’t really any better plus it’s closed source and expensive. And don’t give me that “industry standard” crap. It’s only industry standard because too many sheep buy what the advertisers tell them to buy. I know from experience: whatever it is you are trying to program or create, you can do it with open source software. And if everybody who uses Adobe products (for instance) took 1/100th of the money they gave to Adobe and contributed it instead to the open source counterpart projects, everybody would win.
Except, of course, for Adobe.
Which means everybody would win.
By the way, if you need to make a .swf and you absolutely must get your proprietary rocks off, get KoolMoves. It does anything you’d want to do and costs less than 1/10th what you’d pay for Flash. And, on top of that, the developer is an actual person that you can talk to. Imagine that.