people in "the scene" always scoff at me for this, but i am not ashamed at all...
I'm not either, and I've used FL Studio from version 3 as my main sequencer. :) It has a quick learning curve, especially if one is familiar with Trackers and it comes with a load of good quality VSTs / VSTis. From version 8 it even has a Synth creation software built-in (FL SynthMaker). It has a different (more tracker-like) approach to sequencing than it's bigger competitors like Logic, ProTools and Cubase, but in most areas it is at least just as good as the more widely used competitors.
In my mind, the biggest minus in FL Studio compared to its competitors is in audio handling. Then again, it might just be I can't use my software properly, but so far I haven't been able to find out a way how to mix songs with only bounced wavs. You know, two dozen song-length wavs on the score, and then just add the reverbs, dynamics, etc. FL Studio seems to load wavs in RAM memory even if you have the tick box "keep on disk" on, which in this case of course results in extreme slowness of the program (unless you're running it on Vista 4GB RAM system -- of that I don't know).
Anyway, my recommendation is: go with FL Studio if you're a beginner. You can download a free demo version, and it really costs little to buy a full licence that includes lifetime updates! The price-quality ratio is just awesome.