Well, I've started to move from FM to ID, so that I do not remain forever stuck with G5 hardware and Tiger. It's with immense reluctance that I reward Adobe with more purchases after they dropped MacFM...no, let's not get started on that.
The ID learning curve is much steeper. I bought FM3 in 1992/3 and immediately started writing a book in it, picking things up as I went along (need an idea for Xmas presents? -- Modern Logic by Graeme Forbes -- every home should have one). I don't think you could do that with ID -- hors categorie compared to category 3, Alpe d'Huez vs the foothills of the Jura. Anyway, I've done a few short docs, and am slowly, with many expletives deleted, getting the hang of it. I don't use the features Dov mentioned -- structure, conditional text, equation editor -- but maybe you can get a lot of FM functionality with 3rd party plug-ins. For me, the lack of xrefs was a deal-breaker until I discovered that DTP Tools, an FM-knowledgeable company, has a plug-in that appears to cover, or even improve on, FM's functionality. It's 99 euros, so assuming they bill you in euros, the dollar price is steadily dropping at the moment. One thing that bugs me are the ludicrous file sizes. A two-page abstract, entirely text, came in at 1.2MB. An FM equivalent would be around 28K, which was what the pdf I made from the 1.2MB file also came in at. I haven't been able to find anything online about why the files are so big or what, if anything, you can do about it (issues about graphics are irrelevant in my case). An attractive feature of ID for me is that it's got correctly implemented footnoting. No more text frames in anchored frames and trial-and-error guessing about how much to cut to get the remainder to jump back to the right page, then having to redo it all when you realize you've made an appalling error on p.2 and fixing it changes all subsequent page breaks. So: although ID isn't specifically intended for writing technical documents, nothing appears to make it irrational to use it for that. Make a list of what FM features are important/indispensable, and check that ID can do the same. Then go to Configure Plug-ins and disable all the ones that pertain to the production of eye-candy only. One really maddening issue is "activation". A single-user license only lets you have 2 activations, so if like me you have a home desktop, an office desktop, and a laptop, something has to give. I'm going to try to appeal to Adobe's sense of natural justice to get a third activation for my laptop. Pray for me. It would be very useful if there were a book, or even if someone just had personal notes they were willing to share, about ID from the FM- user's point of view: the sort of thing that would say, you can do such-and-such in FM easily enough, here's a sequence of steps in ID that will also accomplish it. Graeme Forbes