My first graphic design program has been CorelDraw 4.0, bundled with my inkjet printer I think, for Windows 3.1. It featured fake gradients (let’s say, 10 colors from yellow to red, typically) and a general lack of complexity that was perfect for beginners.
I upgraded to CorelDraw 5 and several things became day by day more common (merging shapes, touching vector tips…).
Finally, with CorelDraw X3 I was mature enough to do what I wished to. At that time I switched do Mac OS and… had to say goodbye to my beloved vector tool.
Tried a cross-platform replacement like InkScape (very good and smooth under Linux), and bought “Graphic” from the Mac App Store. Still was frustrating not being able to work with paths and shapes in a fluid environment.
When I tried Affinity Designer from Serif, a company I associated with cliparts and bloated Windows tool, everything changed.
I don’t know if it’s good for real.
I strongly believe it’s the perfect replacement for former CorelDraw users, though.