What, if any, would be the main benefit of using a commercial tool like eCognition (in particular) or ERDAS as opposed to something like Orfeo Toolbox or OpenCV? (Feel free to suggest other open source software for RS if you think it fills a gap also.)
Put aside the GUI as I would likely be scripting it anyway. It seems to me that most of the fundamentals of Remote Sensing are available as easily scriptable OSS elsewhere.
Things like mosaicing, edge detection, basic band calcs e.g. (Band_1 - Band_2) that can be strung together for things like NDVI, supervised and unsupervised classification, high/low pass filters etc all seem to be available. Furthermore the basic C++ programs written for these are no more complicated than Python given the level at which the methods are exposed to the user.
I am assuming the commercialproducts shine when it comes to more advanced stuff like object recognition and the like. Also I assume they would have the benefit of a helpdesk or support if required.
I have used the free trial for eCognition but given that I am usually doing pretty basic stuff I never get a chance to see where it may be better. I am also assuming that it takes a while cutting your teeth on the basics in a program to realise the helpful time savers and get the most benefit out it. Time you don't really get when using a trial version.
Is there anything I am missing? Anything that completely stands out that you are thinking 'Wow! this guy is an idiot for not knowing about capability X'? Conversely do you think it is true that most of this stuff is basic technology that has been around for years so it is only the more advanced part of the market pushing the technological envlope that requires these tools?