Much as I would love a grand piano in the house . . . .
Start again: I have been trying out the Addictive Keys Studio Grand Piano VST Instrument this week and I think it is the best sounding, most play-ably realistic ‘fake’ piano I have ever heard.
Can’t stop playing it: the sound is warm, smooth, vibrant, clear: simply awesome. I have many other first class sampled pianos, but this beats them all. For me, at any rate.
You have full control of microphone placement, reverb, EQ. It even has a built in recorder to capture ideas as they happen which can then be played back and exported into a sequencer for later work. It seems to be rock solid, loads into RAM ultra fast and works as a standalone application, too. Operationally, it’s a piece of cake: dead easy to use. Just hook up your MIDI keyboard and play away.
And best of all, the free version is the same as the paid for version except it runs to only 5 octaves and has fewer microphones to play with.
In lieu of a real grand piano, this will do fine!