"I can get software suites free that perform as well; at worst I can spend $20 and get a fully functioning production suite equal to Office."
This is fine as long as you are never sharing files with anyone or EVERYONE you share files with is using the same program. There are dozens of ways, for example, OpenOffice does not play nice with any version of Word.
rciadan said: "2010 really only offered enough advantage if using Share Point"
This is nonsense. I never use Share Point and used 2003 until 2010 was mature. I skipped 2007 because it was known to be buggy. There are many, many advantages in 2010 over 2003: Apparently you have never used it. It's like comparing a BMW to a Ford Pinto. I'm not convinced 2013 is worth it, regardless of the option chosen (service vs standalone).
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