Heard enough of this(AE is inferior to other comping apps) at least this explanation by Mark Christiansen, author of Adobe After Effects 7.0 Studio Techniques will clear this issue.
I am quoting few words by Christiansen
"Of all of the major desktop compositing software packages available, only After Effects has been used both for the highest-end visual effects work and the highest-end motion graphics."
"Why, you might ask, if I can acknowledge that After Effects isn’t the software of choice at most feature effects studios, do I persist in writing books about doing feature-quality visual effects work in After Effects? Two reasons come instantly to mind:
1) Today and for the forseeable future, more shots will get done in After Effects than in all of the others combined.
2) I can comfortably argue that After Effects is more powerful than the competition, because of the breadth and depth of work you can do with it. "
"The strength, and therefore the Achilles heel of After Effects is the Timeline. It is the heart of the application (or as I call it in my book, the “killer app”), the place where all of the work gets done, and it allows for complex timing and spatial animation of elements. Among all major compositing packages, this workflow is unique to After Effects."
Enough said by him.. he also states the disadvantage of AE over other node based apps.. He argue its mainly because workflow which result in overall slow responsiveness. But at the same time this workflow provides more easiness when it comes to working with movement lot of elements at the simultaneously.
Mythbusting (Part One)
Mythbusting (Part Two)
[Mythbusting (Part Three)
Not over.. Also check out this blog post by Stu Maschwitz about comparison between Node Vs Layers.
Its not about one software being inferior to another, its about your requirement, budget and personal preference on particular project!