Over the past 3 years I have made a transition from using photoshop to design websites to fireworks. Photoshop and fireworks are equally capable of creating anything you can imagine onscreen. However photoshop is more geared toward publishing, graphic design and high end photo retouching while fireworks has become adobes web specific design application. It now has features that allow you to share elements across frames (now called scenes). essentially this is a way to create a navigation structure then allow this navigation to be shared across all frames. If you decide to edit the navigation , your changes automatically reflect cross all frames. Previously in photoshop or fireworks you would have to do this manually or frame by frame. Fireworks has also created a library of common elements you can drop onto your page, items such as radio buttons , scroll bars, check boxes and buttons. Prior to the common library designers would either recreate things like scroll bars or literally take a picture of a scroll bar then place it on the page. Like the share across frames feature, you use these items throughout your design, and if you decide to edit a common item, the changes will reflect globally across the site similar to using a style sheet. All of these enhancements accelerate the process of dealing with client revisions and let you turn projects faster. In a fast paced agency environment - this is a good thing.
Recently I had the chance to demo Fireworks CS4 and enjoyed some of its new features like direct .pdf export and the new pages feature which allows you to create multi scene (formerly called frames) documents with various canvas sizes. I like the new release and it seems to run faster than the CS3 version. Is it worth purchasing the new version ? I guess it depends on how often you use it - but I don't see version CS4 making your designs any better. Is it Faster? A little bit.
Do you ever wonder why adobe doesn't create one monster application that accomplishes all design needs across print and web. A super application that could be used to create logos , edit photos, layout magazine articles, create all your web graphics and then wrap it all together by being a fully capable web development tool. This would be a huge task but definitely something adobe is capable of. At some point Im sure its been discussed or maybe its already in the works. Creative suite X? I guess until then, well be using all of adobes products however we see fit to get the job done.