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Unfortunately, one of the previous pieces of software in this area followed the poster's "self documenting code" style (very nice, clean, well written code with no comments), and even I find it difficult to piece together what's going on in places --- not because all of the code is crypto-specific, but because the author has thrown so much effort into writing "clean, pretty" code that it's actually hard to know where the crucial pieces are. I can't quite explain why I find this so irritating, but perhaps some of you will know what I mean.
I can kind of understand this, often in the quest to make things more understandable things are refactered into methods/functions that arent modular operations in themselves which can lead to more confusion since they masquerade as pieces of modularly reusable code when they in fact rely on assumptions which happen to be satisfied by their caller.
Its also worth noting that you do get a performance and memory usage penalty for pushing additional frames onto the stack. In certain cases that can be a factor. (As an aside why is it in Uni that recursive code is held in such high regard as being elegant whereas in day to day like its almost always a bad idea. I made that mistake a few times early on in my professional life).
Post resolution if the problem was caused by failure to adhere to the Enterprise wide computer usage and security guidelines then appropriate disciplinary action is instigated with their direct report-to.
Once I can take my VSTs with me then it becomes a sersious contender.
The mixdown step is more to do with the traditional process where mastering would be done by a separate engineer so its a workflow embedded in a lot of musicians subconscious already but theres nothing to stop you strapping your master fx over your master bus and working that way.
With a modern DAW I dont see why you would ever want to route audio to another application (MIDI is another story mostly due to one particular app [reason]) but see rewire) since all your audio apps will be running inside your DAW via VST or rtas anyway.
As for value for money. These days Reaper (unlimited free trial, 50 bucks license) is available on windows and Mac and is pretty much as fully featured as cubase, its missing some audio editing facilities but you can hook in audactiy as a helper app so going linux doesnt save you any money at all, except the OS license I suppose but quite frankly a windows OEM license is what a hundred bucks or so so by the time Ive wasted 2 or 3 hours trying to setup linux the windows license has paid for itself. Hardware of course you are fairly limited on what you can even use on linux so I doubt you get the most band for buck when your buying your interface either.
Basically if you dig linux and like toying around with this stuff I can see the attraction but as usual for people who arent interested in the technology aspect the workflow isnt optimal with a far to high barrier to entry in terms of initial configuration. This is the same problem linux has in other creative spaces.
You apparently have failed to discover the master bus in most audio software.