Before I retired, in addition to hardware issues in the real world, I had to deal with some serious software bugs when separately-developed software modules were integrated, so I speak from MY experience when raising doubts about an agglomeration of software modules that has not been put through the ringer under real-world conditions. Software engineers know about beta testing and there are lots of anecdotes about vendors leaving the beta testing to early adopters of their new stuff. I use "beta testing" in the broadest sense to include human interfaces as well as software functionality.
It's all about unintended consequences and the more complex the system, the more you need to ring things out.
I'm in the same relative line of work still. And I completely agree with this.
I also am pleased to assure you and the readers about the robustness and lack of buginess in the iPad nav system that I've laid out previously - and tested myself extensively, finding it incredibly stable.
So, I just think it's always important to understand that it's not the platform
(iPad/apps or MFDs/proprietary software) that's in question here. It's the specific bundle of technology being used - like ActiveCaptain being the bug behind your issues (and not causing me any problems because I stay away from it like the plague) - or many times it's even the user...as I'm sure you'll attest being in from the tech side of life.
That was Mark's point above regarding the simplicity of what we are talking about here on the iPad side, I believe - and he's right. We are talking about a very, very simple combination of hardware and software that is very likely simpler than a proprietary solution. It is amazing to me how far sailors typically will go to find "non-WestMarine" solutions to just about everything, but will insist on a purely WestMarine solution in this arena.
The funny thing is, as you can see with these products - the West Marine solutions are looking more and more like the iPad solutions.
So, as always, pick what you want. But be clear that issues of stability are solvable on the iPad side just as they are on the WestMarine side. The issues surrounding the Navico 4G (Simrad, B&G, Lowrance) radar mentioned above are perfect examples of that. And you can easily kick Garmin/AC to the curb.