Thanks for all the replies everyone.
I will spend a little more time studying before I commit to a purchase.
If it is any help, the real power of EA studio comes from your ability to compile powerful and robust portfolios. This relates to five important aspects.
1) Your ability to address curve fitting which is a prevalent feature of all data mining software in the market;
2) Your ability to select those strategies which have a more enduring (long lasting) edge;
3) Your ability to identify when a strategy is no longer performing and needs to be dropped from the portfolio;
4) Your ability to risk adjust the strategies in your portfolio so no strategy will compromise the overall portfolio;
5) Your ability to compile a non-correlated portfolio which irons out the weaknesses in each strategy and capitalizes on their strengths.
You really need to take time in deciding what you are data mining for.
If you are after EA's that trade future market predictability (referred to as convergent trading styles), then this software and it's tools are a great asset for that purpose.....however your ultimate success will be closely tied to your ability to detect curve fit EA's and your portfolio workflow process where you continuously need to data mine to find new EA's to replace under-performing EA's in your portfolio collections. Predictive EA's only have a short shelf life before the edged is arbitraged away. It is quite easy to identify profitable EA's that work for a period of time using this software....but the trick to long term survival in this game is your ability to identify when an EA is no longer performing and if to switch it off or not. Your success is not in picking winners but in preventing losers from deteriorating your trade capital when underperforming.
If you are after EA's that follow price and are non-predictive in nature such as trend following/momentum styles (referred to as divergent styles) which are less market specific and more universal, then you need to be very selective in the tools you use and you also need to use extended data sets. Walk forward and Monte Carlo techniques are not recommended for these styles as your performance is strongly tied to the market conditions, and markets simply do not trend all the time. Walk forward methods seek to stabilise income across a time series with positive performance in each segment. Monte Carlo methods also seek to smooth returns to achieve fairly constant returns. This is simply not how markets work in relation to trends. Divergent techniques need to reflect that there are long periods of stagnation or slowly building drawdowns while waiting for these non-predictive trending market conditions.
If you use the complete tool box of EA studio to attempt to mine for these styles of EA, then the tools will automatically bias you towards convergent trading styles.....which are a far harder beast to navigate over the longer term.
You can still use EA studio to a degree if you are looking for more robust divergent EA's but you need to know what you are doing.
In general EA studio is a wonderful piece of software but not a panacea for those looking to 'get rich quick'. Take some time to understand how the software works, it's strengths and weaknesses and recognise that it is a fantastic tool.....but not a total solution. You need to apply significant critical thinking to your workflow process and understand clearly what you are doing at every step of the way.
I hope this helps mate :-)
Diversification and risk-weighted returns is what this game is about