sorry I guess I skimmed too agressively and didnt see the list of Q's at teh end.
So the questions are asked:
1) Are synths of a certain type/caliber/complexity/ability reserved for certain types of users/uses?
2) Do you consider this when looking at future purchases?
It is a turn off if I see any mention of specific genre. I feel the same way about "shredder" guitars and "fusion" drumsets.
3) Do you check the alignment of a particular product in relation to your chosen genre(s)?
For synths I could give a damn if it is appropriate for the genre. I am not going to buy an MPC to make hip hop or usemy X0X to make acid house. But since you mention it, back in the day when I was a young punk rock bassist I did avoid the more 'rockstar' brands of amps and basses. Then I realized those ubiquitous Marshall stacks and Les Pauls that many punk guitarists used were several times over more expensive than ANY bass rig. And I stopped worrying about brands.
4a) How important are live-song-making product demos as selling points?
Pretty important. If it seems to take a lot of menu diving or 3 finger combination button presses to access params than I am out. I get burnt out and depressed making music sometimes. I don't need my gear casting stones in my path.
4b) Compared to sound-cloud links or a patch by patch roll through?
I've never heard a patch or demo in an mp3 file that was compelling enough for me to buy a product. All that demonstrates is what kind of patch somebody else could make. Most peoples tastes are divergent from mine. Ditto for patches.
5) Does the preset amount (high or low or no patch memory) influence your purchase?
Aside from a couple of my drum machines, only one of my synths has patch storage.
6) Does who else uses it matter? Like if it's already popular for your intended genre?
Aside from my high school punk bands I've never consciously courted any particular genre.
I like to say I am too weird for the rockers and rock to much for the weirdos.
I've been pigeonholed as industrial by more than one review. And I am huge fan of early industrial. But I have zero in common with the last 20 years of that genre. (ever since Cabaret Voltaire went all house on me
What does influence my purchase of a synth are it's capabilities. When I found out that the smooth ethereal sounds on many of Japan's records and the abrasive atonal squiggles on early Killing Joke records were the same synth my interest was piqued. Of course a good analog can make a huge range of sounds. But a a Minimoog imparts a similar character to all of it's patches. I heard no such blatant similarity with the OB-X. It's still my holy grail becasue of this. Sadly that synth is very popular because it was used by a ton of influential folks. So it's several career changes and raises away yet.
Conversely I have a morbid fascination with very limited instruments like a moog MP201 to play melodies using LFOs and gates. Next to a Korg KPR77 drum machine and an Atari Punk of course.