Thank you Phil for that reply.
I must admit that I just was angry about e-on and their update-policy. But I got an email today that I will get the chance to update! But I must say this only happens because I first contacted the sales-representative, got a refusal, posted that in the forum, another e-on-technician replied to that, got another reply from the (SAME!) sales-rep again - and it seams to be possible to upgrade! If some e-on-representatives are reading this post: Thank you very much! There is still mercy in this world :-)
I'm happy now and the world is bright and shiny again! :-)
But you are right. It would have been a hard way for me to find any other software that could do the work Vue does in such a convenient way. Of course it's possible to build mountains in LW or Terragen, clouds out of HyperVoxels, etc., but it needs more time or is not so brilliant. I just bought the book of Dax Pandhi 'Realism in Vue' this summer and he says that Vue has specifical algorithms to simulate light on clouds and water and material as it is in real. And there are some differences between Terragen an Vue, absolutely.
The instance handling is more convenient in Vue, absolutely right. You can paint it, if you want or just draw some sliders and Vue calculates them.
I just don't have the money to pay for this convenience as a private person or a small studio if I don't need it so often. Especially if I would have to buy the whole version again. And I must say that I not really understand why the new, whole Vue version has almost the same price as LW but less features. I mean - yes - I can build nice and realistic landscapes. But modelling? A really operable graph-editor for animations? Just a simple 'save increment'? A better renderer? Soft shadows? I mean - Between LW 10 and LW 11 was a huge leap. All the boolean dynamics, instancing, swarm and some more. I don't have the impression that there are comparable leaps between Vue-versions anymore. Eco-paint and spectral light was a huge leap. And now particles? Well...I don't know. Maybe these two packages are not comparable, but that's what I meant with 'overrated'. But yes - the software is successful and the price can be demanded (such with this other 3D-package beginning with the latter M). That's what I meant with 'Hollywood-business'.
If it will happen (and I didn't get the link yet) to upgrade to version 11 I will do some testing and post the results here. I also will take the lighting hint into consideration you mentioned, thank you very much!