I think he/she meant "professionals", not pros v. cons.Kellyfrancis, could you please list some of the pros you mentioned?
Aragonite is all you need to know whether its live or dry. The only advantage to live (IMO) is that you don't/shouldn't rinse it first. That's just me though.
Other than being aragonite based. you need to consider grain size for the animals you have. If you have a bunch of burrowing fish and shrimp, a coarse substrate is probably not best. Sugar grain sand, while nice looking, is hard to keep in place with all the flow we have in our tanks. Agaramax Select, Figi Pink, etc., are kind of a happy medium. Other option is to buy smaller bags of mixed grains to get the best of both world.
CaribSea, Ocean Direct (also CaribSea), Tropical Eden Garden Flakes are all good brands that a lot of people use. I would stick to those. There are places online that sell true live sand that are actually full of life (not just bacteria) but its a little higher priced in most cases. Since you live rock is cured and 6 years mature, I don't see any reason to risk adding that kind of sand. You always take a risk of getting a nasty critter when you take sand out of someone elses tank.