I am a Senior Software Engineer. I've used SQL Server for most of the solutions that I worked with, from web crawlers to logistic platforms and medical devices.
Over 10 years.
Yes, I encountered issues only when using the Express editions during the development. SQL Server, generally speaking, is stable also in high transaction environments.
Yes, I encountered issues in the CPU intensive application, like web crawlers. It was difficult to reach the desired scalability through the fine tuning options available.
The support is good. The knowledge base is very good.
I have experience with Sybase SQL Anywhere .
I switched mainly because the SQL Server is widely deployed and known, for better XML support, and for better integration with .NET framework and its related technologies.
It was straightforward for most of the installation, thanks to the wizards.
I am not a direct purchaser, so I don’t know.
SAP/Sybase SQL Anywhere for the small footprint which makes it suitable for embedded solutions.
SAP/Sybase SQL Anywhere for the built-in synchronization technologies available.
Improve the built-in database replication technologies.