I don’t know anyone who despises it. It’s a very capable drawing application.
The problem, in my opinion, isn’t so much with the software as it is with the company that owns it and their terrible business and marketing decisions throughout the history of the company. Corel has always positioned itself as the alternative to something else rather than the go-to product for what’s needed.
For example, heading back into the late 1980s, graphic design was not possible on on DOS computers and horridly difficult on the first few generations of Windows. So what did Corel do? They positioned themselves squarely on the side of PCs in thinking, I suppose, that designers would abandon Macs once Windows got up to speed, which they didn’t do. Even now, when Windows is roughly comparable to the Mac OS, Macintoshes still tend to dominate (or at least be overrepresented in) the creative professions.
Corel has never offered good support for Macintoshes. Even now, they treat Macs as an afterthought market. I haven’t looked lately, but I don’t even think CorelDraw is available for Macintoshes, which in the combination Mac/Windows design environment that exists today, is a deal killer for both platforms.
Adobe has aggressively integrated their three main design products (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) as a tightly knit suite that is equally adept on both Macs and Windows. If you have one, you’re not totally set up until you get the others. Corel, instead, has failed to do this, and still treat their products largely as one-off Windows applications. This being the case, it really doesn’t matter how good CorelDraw might be since it would be an oddball purchase that doesn’t fit comfortably — both financially or practically with Photoshop or InDesign.
I could go on, but Corel, much like Quark, is a company that has made a whole series of blunders that, despite their one-off products being quite good, has kept them perpetually lagging behind in marketshare.