Prior to the test I had used DirectAdmin as a user account with Frihost.com a few years back. Then when I became staff at Frihost a few years later I got myself a shared hosting account with DirectAdmin with a host in Canada. DirectAdmin of course comes from Quebec Canada. At that time there were very few hosts who were using DirectAdmin. But ever since the issue with the high rates cPanel has been charging, DirectAdmin has come out of the shadows and made many improvements to its panel.
When I tested a DirectAdmin shared hosting account in January I was totally surprised how much the panel was looking like cpanel. Almost as though it is trying to copy the same style. I think however it would have to go a very very long way to catch up with the growing technology that cpanel has invested so much in over the years. DirectAdmin is completely OK, more than OK, but for me cpanel is still that much better. Particularly WHM.