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I agree with Shishirb Magento is one of the best ones around. Its the only one www.redtiemedia.net likes to work with. We have tried many of them and this is always the one we come back to.
Magento is a very good solution, but not the only good solution out there. Different merchants have
different needs and comfort levels in terms of price points. If you're looking for and willing to pay for a Cadillac,
then Magento, X-Cart and others would be very good choices. If you need something more modest, there are many excellent choices in that price range as well. Here's a resource dedicated to the subject of shopping carts from our website you mighit want to glance at:
Magento is good and has many functions. But it does take up a lot of resources. So if your shopping cart needs aren't that many, other ecommerce software should suffice, ie virtuemart, zencart, etc. Good luck!
It is true that Magento will be more expensive to host and develop, however, if you're serious about your business, they are worth it. Magento is enterprise-grade software that is affordable enough for a small business. If you're starting up a side project or dabbling in e-commerce, then take a look at osCommerce as well.
As for the resource issues, Magento and the Magento community have put forth a lot of effort recently to get Magento to run faster. You just need a company that is familiar with Magento performance optimization and a Magento optimized web host.