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Memory Management, Transparency & Drop shadow nightmare

Memory Management, Transparency & Drop shadow nightmare

Memory Management, Transparency & Drop shadow nightmare

(OP)
Illustrator has features in the 'Filters' and 'Effects' that i find very useful. For instances, the 'Drop Shadow' and 'Glow' effects are way cool (Can Freehand do that?). The 'Transparency' command is very neat, too. BUT, when it goes out for colour separation, it creates HAVOC! I tested it by creating a PDF file of the artwork and the problem area shows up clearly: Vector graphics become rasterized and 'coarse' looking. Logos become 'broken up', colours go haywire and clients are not paying!
What use are these wonderful features if they cannot be achieved on print? Are there anymore hidden 'trapdoors' we should know about?
Or perhaps i am too dumb to read the "Help" file and the answers are in there. If so, please point me to it.
It's very unnerving to spend good money on a software, spend many hours creating stuffs with it and find that it doesn't really work at all!
Please help!!!  :(
PS: Also, the memory management of an Illustrator file is very irritatingly slow: It takes forever to RIP or print. A similar file done with Freehand or Pagemaker takes only a fraction of the time to print. Eh, why is that?
Thanks for listening to my frustrations.

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