We have been sat on the 2GB ram limit for some time now - some people try to say bill gates once said (though no citations are ever available) '640k is enough for anyone,' just because YOU can't think of a meaningful use for it does not mean that there is not one.
The size of EWQL@#$% (whatever) is to do with the breadth of samples available - my drum sample library comes with 35GB of samples and that's what it takes to sound convincing (and its still hard work, even with that).
Yes i know old keyboards managed on 64k samples to fill a whole keyboard, but i promise you they dont sound great (or at least, only the ones that happened to sound ok survived!). I have a Roland D-50 here, and some older folks may drool at the sounds eminating from it, to me it sounds pretty dated and thin...
Then there is the issue which any artist faces - pushing back the point where you have to bounce things (ie artists merging layers, musicians bouncing tracks, etc.) so that you can tweak things up until the last stage of production whilst hearing/seeing the bottom line effect.
For this you need RAM... lots of it... more than 2GB which is pretty measely these days which is why the 64-bit barrier, as awkward as it may be to navigate, has become a necessity for so many.
64-bit is far from bleeding edge, it has been held off long enough...
Well put, AtonyB. I do indeed think that no one needs more than 2Gb and I have no right to impose that on others. My music goals will be different to yours. I can't get better drum sounds (for my purpose) then the MPC2500. Don't know why I bothered with the 128Mb expansion because for any one song, I can have my sounds in 5mb. Also, I can't get better synth sounds than a Voyager and TI. I have no use for very good orchestral samples though.
I'm saying that focusing on a temporary technology brick wall, like the 64-bit migration path, is separate from making music. I suspect that this has all become a distraction from the real reason you have the computer. Be careful of that trap, because having that extra ram will not be noticeable to your audience. Do they care that you had to freeze tracks or layer tracks because you didn't have the resources?
I am wary of the hype with new technology. I've seen it come and go enough times. Take from technology that which works for you. Don't spend time on anything which doesn't improve your music. Which in this case means 64-bit OS if your chosen instruments don't work with it right now.