For me , Adaptec's Easy CD Creator was the first writing program i used in my life , but very very soon after i got my own first cd writer (Plextor 12 speed , still got it) i found out that Adaptec Easy CD Creator (this was version 3.something i believe) was no good for making backups of copy-protected media.
It was a pain in the butt to configure for different media formats such as videocd , photocd , etc. It did not support overburn , couldn't handle a single copy protection and i quickly lost interest in it.
I'd say Easy Cd Creator is very good for beginners to start learning how to write and if they get more experience with it , change to Nero if they want to do more than just normal writing with their writer. If not , stay with Easy Cd Creator , it's not something to be ashamed about , especially if you never make backups of games , but are just writing your digital camera pictures on cd's.
I told my father to buy a bunch of cd-rewritables and start fiddling around with the writer and he's quite content with Easy Cd Creator on his Dell machine.
I gave an old Philips 2 speed writer and a couple of rewritables to my brother and told him to use Easy Cd Creator. After a few months or so he asked me if i've seen a program somewhere with a more easier interface and more options.
In the overall history , Ahead's product had less bugs and issues than Easy Cd Creator's software. I'm not a fan of the "happy happy joy joy click here" interface method myself so naturally i hate Easy Cd Creator and Nero Express , but there are plenty of computer users that "just want to write pictures on cd's."
Easy Cd Creator : Easy , but don't do anything special with it. Just write normal cd's.
Nero : Makes it possible to write about any cd/dvd format , but can be overwhelming because of all the options.
And after people have mastered Nero a little and ask me about copyprotections.. i redirect them to the CdFreaks forum of course I tell them about CloneCD , Alcohol , BlindWrite/Read and the whole saga begins again