It does many really good things, remember when you first started using blender and thought it was awkward, clumsy and unintuitive? Maya takes all that away because its very intuitive, with Blender when you join 2 meshes together thats it, you get one unworkable mesh which can never be separated. Maya enables you to click between separate meshes after joining, this saves a massive amount of time. Its smarter, easier and faster to work with (allowing for ones expertise with hotkeys and the need to relearn hotkeys from any new software), there are more tools and more flexibility, many more options. It handles those massive models that are too big for blender, like the city of Venice.
Having used both Maya and Blender I say Maya is 5 times as good as Blender which is why Blender is free and Maya costs an arm and a first born. I cant afford standard Maya but I can afford $50 aud a month.
However the news from Alf isnt good. Missing critical components like a rendering engine is a worry, and I worry about what else is missing, for 10% of the original price stuff will definitely be missing.
The learning new techniques and unfamiliar hotkeys is just part of the curve, I had no trouble shifting from Blender to Maya in a workflow situation, but I am worried about being shortchanged on features.
Thanks for your feedback.