Plesk is decent, I don't know that you can go wrong with it. However there are little caveats. For example, if you need to put new virtual server directives into a particular client's httpd configuration file (httpd.include in the /domain/conf directory), this file gets overwritten every single time a change is made to that domain in the Plesk control panel. The best thing you can do is chattr the file using your root account, so the file can never be written. This of course has its own inherent problems. My latest gripe with Plesk 7 reloaded, is that passwords can not be longer than 8 characters. It errors out, citing that you have illegal characters in your password. The same thing happens if you try to add a user that's already in /etc/password. Give me a break.
I will say that DirectAdmin looks really promising to me. It has a nice user interface; it doesn't have all the extra bells and whistles that Plesk has and very few people care about (like Apache ASP, and JSP servlets). Anyone who needs ASP can pay for a .NET box as far as I'm concerned.. the same holds true with Java. I have no idea why someone would want to use a slimmed down set of classes in Apache ASP, once you get accustomed to using the full .NET FCL. DirectAdmin also has no direct integration with ColdFusion, but that's just a matter of installing it, and putting the appropriate directives into httpd.conf. Although I have never installed and used DirectAdmin, I am very much turned on by the fact that it uses no packages, and it compiles everything for your particular system. This gives me hope that it will be more portable to other flavors of Linux (albeit unsupported), than something that's RPM based. As a Plesk user, this very much appeals to me, as Plesk has still not added FC3 support.. grr. I am very anxious to try out DirectAdmin.
Since the poster made a very open-ended question, perhaps others with DirectAdmin experience will chime in.
I would recommend sw-soft for this thread. Plesk is the one of the many examples of the products introduced by them. It is really a perfect tool to manage your web-site. Easy to use being simple interface at the same time it is quite advanced.
Plesk would absolutely own CPanel if it included the (rather expensive) PowerPack. Unfortunately, SWSoft felt the need to introduce it as an "add-on", which in the end would make Plesk at least twice as expensive as average CPanel. Still, the new Plesk is probably the easiest to use CP for end-users, which is fantastic if your targeting PC-illiterate people.
Although I really like DA's price, I choose CPanel, plain and simply because that's what the end-users want (so that's what they'll get )
not only this is what end users want,
but cpanel also includes for free
any new innovations, and from
what i know, they will soon have
panel for gameservers, free vds system
maybe firewall system, anti-spam, antivirus,
and for sure ASP.net and .JSP support !!!
so i think no plesk or DA can beat them...
you may just talk in general that plesk is better,
but if you search deeply, cpanel has control for
plesk really even with powerpack doesnt have the half...