Considering you can get the same level of functionality for free,

No you don't, that is why you have to pay for some of them. I've looked over CR, Dreamforge, IRC Plus, Chatspace and Unreal in the past. All have their own merits and downfalls, size, cost, ease of installation and setup all playing a part. At the end of the day it depends what someone wants as to what they'd call 'features'.

If I owned a server and had to choose the software, it'd be CR any day of the week. Who cares about the money? I can't take it with me when the man upstairs calls my name.

Sorry, but you've missed my point entirely, I never flamed any other software. I'm just giving my view on what is better. I've seen a Windows/CR powered server get hammered by thousands of warbots (a similar attack to what Dalnet can't shake off) and the server didn't so much as flinch. One's genuine opinion has to be based on their experiences.

I'm not paid by Webmaster's to come here and go into bat for CR. I don't endorse anything. Just giving you the tale of the tape.

If course of you are going to run a server as a hobby for a few friends, some idlers and the odd wares fserv, a shell and a freeware IRCd will probably do the job well. I, in my respect for others, will always assume that they aspire to greater things though.