Mackie had just come out with a new line of the standard VLZ series mixers. I'd be interested to know if they're going to jack up the MSRP at all. Looks like one of the main improvements is new preamps and an extremely low total harmonic distortion. Looks nice.
I reckon that's just because you're not used to it. Cadac consoles have been laid out like this for years, and when you stop to think about it, it makes sense, especially on a large format console. Auxes are typically set once, and then left, whereas you may need to reach for the EQ and tweak it during the show quickly. It's a lot easier when that's down closer to the faders.
Again, on a compact console like the Mackie, it's not as big a deal, but on professional large format consoles, it's the difference between being able to see and reach easily or having to stretch and lean over the console, sometimes even getting up on your toes, height dependent.
I've never mixed on a Cadac (yet ), so I can't speak to that. Most of the shows I mix have mons run from FOH, so I'm constantly adjusting the auxs more than the EQ. You're right, I'm just not used to it.
And I wouldn't say it's bad....yet. I'm not a big fan of the original VLZ, having had far too many go down on me before a show. I'd rather have and Onyx or A&H MixWiz for those small gigs. Besides, the Onyx has two more auxs for mons