here's my story:
after doing mechanical (hand) drafting for 3 years, i got my first taste of AutoCad in 1988. at first all we did were details; the jobs were still being done by hand, except for a handfull. the first CAD job i recall working on was for a radio station in NYC. there were 2 CAD stations in the office for people to share.
right away i noticed something odd about this new drafting tool:
it was fun! what a concept, getting paid for doing something you really enjoy... i still feel the same way about it some 16 years later.
by 1990 i had my very own PC at my desk, we were doing about 75% of the jobs on CAD. there was no network, no internet, no e-mail... files were stored on the C:\ drive, and on 5.25" floppy discs
at this time i was very handy with MS-DOS, writing dozens of batch files to speed up file management. i was also in charge of creating departmental standards -- getting everyone on the same page.
we worked a lot of OT. the place was a few steps above being a sweatshop, but we were in our 20's, and didn't seem to mind all that much.
in 1995, after changing jobs and moving to a new state, i started using Microstation. there was a serious learning curve for me, because many of the commands were done in reverse (ie. select the objects before you select the command). it was difficult learning this new 'language', which was vastly different from AutoCad (my native tongue).
it took a good 8-9 months before i was comfortable using Microstation. the rule of thumb is "use it or lose it", and i was extremely fortunate to have a steady flow of projects for each program.
in 1998 i received my first CAD training course -- 3D modeling in Microstation. once again i struggled to grasp the concepts, particularly the Z axis, which i had blatantly ignored for 10 years! slowly i got comfortable with this new CAD form. i laid out all the cable tray for a power plant in vietnam. once a week or so we had design review meetings, which were 3D walk-thrus all around the plant. we were on the lookout for clashes (2 pieces of equipment that hit each other). there was a great sense of teamwork in this process, and many compromises were reached to iron out the design flaws.
i changed jobs at the end of 2000. my new firm was AutoCad oriented, so i lost touch with Microstation until june of this year, when we began a large Microstation-only project.
so once again i'm using both programs on a daily basis, transitioning from one to the other with relative ease.
i still prefer AutoCad, and probably always will...