looks like you're having the same experience that I did in my first week of trying anime/moho.
I was throwing monkey crap around and making an idiot of myself ( not saying you are- that was just me) then a few things clicked and I felt foolish for not getting it.
In comparison , Blender had an interface that many found too non standard, so they implemented a Maya emulation toggle at start-up for those of us who just could get off the ground, now it's like aaahhhh .... thank you, I don't feel completely nobbled at the get go.
Yo are right about bringing the old girl up to date though ( yes the manual often relies on the user opening up files buried in the program folders which isn't handy for a quick check), I think especially in the preview, graphics cards are so hot these days, we shouldn't be sitting and wondering what a image really looks like.
Keep at it and you will discover hidden abilities in ASPRO like I do all the time- I had a great Eureka yesterday, (so cool I'm tempted to keep it secret), good luck.
Oh yeah I too have whined about the drawing tools many times.