When I judge new software, I use three criteria:
I used HRD 6 in my comparison for two reasons. There is no product support for the earlier versions, so I was unable to make it work with my system using HRD 5. Also HRD does not even acknowledge the earlier versions on their website, so a new ham might not even know that there is an older, free version available. Therefore,: DXL free, HRD $99.95 (less 15% 9/2014) and $49.95/yr for continued support and upgrades.
HRD v5.24.38 is still out there. Here is one of many places: http://www.iw5edi.com/software/ham-radio-deluxe-5-download-links
. No, you can't get "official" support from HRDSoftware, LLC, but there are still plenty of users here and on QRZ that use it that should be able to help you. If they can't, then at least you are not out anything other than your time.
While there are certainly many changes (improvements?) in HRD v6.2, you only have 30 days to get it up and running on your system and decide if it suitable to your needs. While v5.24 may not have all the "bells & whistles" as v6.2, it is similar enough for you to determine if it is right for you without being crippled by the 30 day limitation. The good news is that if you do eventually decide that you want the latest (and greatest?) version of HRD, the transition is fairly painless and seamless from v5.2 to v6.2.
Even then, I strongly urge you to take full advantage of the 30 day trial period before sending them any of your hard-earned money because once they have it, you will never see that money again. They are quite clear about this and they are unwilling to make exceptions under any circumstances.
2) Customer Service
I required help in making both programs work to my satisfaction. HRD provides a forum that took several days for approval to post questions, and they do provide customer support by phone and email. In my opinion, they need to make it easier to find the customer support information. Clicking help and support while in HRD only provides a link to the HRD forum. I accidentally found the phone number and email customer support info in small letters under the license key manager. But once I found that, I was able to get courteous, accurate answers to my questions and help to make HRD work.
I am glad they were able to answer your questions to your satisfaction.