I have to disagree.
I owned & used a Tascam TM-D8000
for nearly 11 years, and hands down, these were just incredible consoles.
It gave you TONS of flexibility, and you could just about route 'anything' to 'anywhere' you'd like or could think of. The overall design & concept was really amazing, and quite ahead of it's time when it first came out. True, it would have been really nice to have had the automated faders, I agree - but you could at least still do automated recall & snapshots, and as long as you thought things through, you could really pull-off some incredible
mixes with this board.
(plus it was built like a russian tank, beyond 'huge', and looked like it came out of one of NASA's bathrooms
Also, the built-in EQ's & dynamics were extremely useful & sounded really good - and I personally loved using the mic-pres on it all the time. They sounded great. Very 'transparent', (similar to Grace pres) but then again - if you use a lot of outboard mic-pres (especially the really 'thick-tube' sounding pres) or say, ribbon mics even - those really clean & transparent mic-pres on the TM-D8000 would simply allow for things such as those to be heard 'uncolored', and as they were meant to be heard.
However, I will agree that if you're looking for an updated DAW
controller - you'd be better off looking for something else more suited for that (which the TM-D8000 was not obviously) - but if you're looking for one hell
of a 'versatile' mixing console, and can't afford to spend $40,000 on one - then the TM-D8000 is probably going to be one of your best bets, seriously.
(also, this hardly ever gets mentioned anymore - but the TM-D8000 works absolute wonders in an all-analog set-up, such as running it with a multi-track, 1 or 2-inch analog reel-to-reel set-up. That console has TONS
of in's & out's, and really nice EQ & compression on each channel - so it actually works out really nicely when run in conjunction with any type of analog (not just all digital set-ups, like a stack of DA-88's for example) Again, one good thing about having a really 'clean', solid & transparent sounding mixer like that, is that it allows you to hear all of the true, more vintage 'colored' and 'analog' signals & sounds, 'exactly' like they were suppose to be heard. Sometimes, (especially nowadays) we have the tendency to run 'everything' through as many tube-based products as possible, over & over & over - and before you know it, you can't even hear what that classic RCA ribbon mic was 'really'
suppose to sound like to begin with
- anyways - hope that can help shed at least a 'little' light on your Tascam inquiry? I'd only say to buy one if you really want or need to do 'real mixing' and not as a DAW controller (however, you might
want to look into one of those Tascam US-2400
DAW controllers - they're no longer in production of course, but for the money (on Ebay) - it's one of the VERY FEW controllers out there (under a billion dollars) that actually gives you the full 24-faders, all the way across,(so you don't have to spend the money & buy 3 units in order to daisy-chain them) plus you get a collection of rotary dials, knobs, joystick, etc.
(and it's fully automated with 24 motorized faders - so that might be worth looking into?)