Look closely at the type of work you do defore deciding on the final software
some would use a simple 2.5D software for the "run of the mill", 2D rough jobs like bolt hole circles, blocking out, face , drill, tap etc
and use the "specialised" software for the more involved and complicated shapes and where 4 and 5 axes come into play.
I haven't seen it in X5 yet, but the Mastercam resellers should be able to get a demo or educational version to you, these may be timed and you cannot "post" with these versions. And they can save session but may not be compatable with a proper version. So this may suit you in a trialing type of emvironment.
Yes, turn OFF cutter comp, the toolpath centreline will follow the drawn line ( XY offset value controls where the path is Left/centre or right of the line---zero is on the line---the lead in/out direction depends on the values and if you select left or right of the line as to the approach. A trick is to have the lead in/out turned OFF, and just to extend the geometry to be outside the stock areawill mastercam allow you to create a line, then use that created line as a tool path?, for example lets say you want to add a line or 2 ( like grooves) offset to a feature on the part.
You can edit a generated toolpath....slightly, delete/add points, change feedrate for a section of toolpath like at a corner.Can you edit the tool path that mastercam creates with out redrawing the main program.?
meaning you see a tool path lines and you want to add a slightly different path to it, or cut a section out of the tool path it generates then connect them by lines, or arcs.
you can turn a toolpath into geometry and then select that geometry to drive a tool around
it is difficult to "adjust" a certian section of toolpath (ie one section having a different offset to another), it is better to create additional geometry and use that new geometry to get the desired path.
I/we can't wait...I have a ton more, that I may ask later.