TL;DR summary: Before finalizing on a million-dollar network monitoring solution, be sure to consider and trial at least a few smaller vendors, new comers and open-source solutions. You may be surprised at their breadth, capability and value. And no, Solarwinds did not pay me to write this blog post! :p
10+ years ago, Solarwinds had a bad reputation for not scaling, being slow, buggy, etc. In the last 7-8 years, it has really transformed, and is a different company, with product portfolio that offers amazing value on several fronts.
Having worked very closely with CA Spectrum/eHealth, Riverbed/OPNet SteelCentral, Nimsoft (purchased by CA), IBM Tivoli ITNM, HP BTO/OpenView, Cacti (open source), Observium/Libre NMS (open source), Zenoss (open source), WhatsUpGold, InterMapper, Cisco DCNM, Cisco Prime/Works and Solarwinds in the last decade, I continue to stay impressed with the usability, feature-set, price-point and scalability offered by Solarwinds products compared to it’s competitors.