I have been using Topaz Studio since it was first introduced; when Studio 2 was introduced I gave it a try but went back to using the older version, mostly because the new version was missing the image overlay and I used that feature quite often.
Recently I decided to give Studio 2 another try and the first thing I noticed was how much faster it seems. I liked the updated interface despite it being pretty unfamiliar. And in time I discovered how well this version is integrated with Photoshop. That fact means I will probably use Studio 2 whenever I need Photoshop. But in fact I don’t use Photoshop very often. But there are a couple other features that I will miss on those occasions. One thing still missing is the image layer, but I do see now how that might be difficult to accommodate within the new user interface paradigm. The other thing I found missing was that when I had applied a filter and made adjustments to it, I was unable to copy that work and apply it again. I’ve often done this in the original Studio with the intention of making some changes, usually including the blending mode. I find that some pairs of blending modes work well together ( e.g., screen and soft-light ).
But most of the time I do not even open Photoshop and I have heard similar comments from others. I do some initial sorting and editing in Lightroom and I select a few of the most promising images. I save these images to a new folder as TIFF files and then I edit these in the original Studio. The old studio is much better suited for editing many images that individually may need just a little attention. In fact, Studio 2 makes this kind of editing project pretty cumbersome.
That may be too long a lead-up to my suggestion and that is for Topaz to stop thinking of Studio 2 as the successor to the original Studio and to start thinking of them as two separate products that serve different purposes. The old Studio needs updating surely, but for me it will continue to be the Topaz product I will turn to most of the time.