As mentioned above, I have Cubase Elements. It's got some good VST instruments included, it's pretty powerful. There are, however, a shed load of 'buts'. The interface is anything but intuitive, the pdf manuals are really badly laid out (and in the case of the VST instruments so well buried I had to go on the internet to find out where they were) - it took me weeks to get sound in and out of it (still better than Ableton with which I had no success at all), and it doesn't play at all nicely with other people's stuff. For example I can import rx2 files easily, but cannot preview them in the media bay - at least I haven't worked out how to, if it is indeed possible - whereas in Reaper they preview on selection.
That said the library of drum loops that is supplied in Cubase Elements will keep me going for a while yet. And the Groove Agent MPC drum machine means I can cut and slice stuff from other sources too.
I reckon that Reaper is extremely good VFM, but you probably need to know more about DAWs in general to source decent sounds and rhythms. So I'm going to stick with trying to get my head properly around Cubase for the time being. Although I might try to persuade SWMBO to let me upgrade to Artist or get a Reaper licence (the latter being by far the cheaper option).