Shake and RayZ were the best choices (until apple chewed them both up). Both were very pricey, though if you work with Apple hardware then maybe still worth looking at. Digital Fusion is probably the best remaining choice, or after effects if your on a budget. Wouldnt personally touch Combustion with a mouldy stick - has great integration with max, but if your using maya then its not too great...
I use "SHAKE". I haven't played with after effects or the others mention. Shack has handled everything i've thown at it so far. Kal what where the machines you were running shake on? When I was at school shake was fast and smooth. No problems in rendering or lag.
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