We have both and DS greatly prefers the cuisenaire rods. Of course he rarely uses either in the way in which they were intended (IE-as part of a math program) but he does use the rods a lot in his play and with cuisenaire rod activity books. He'll make connections with them (hey mom! Did you know that two 3 rods make a 6 rod?) and has learned which rod=which number. Sometimes he'll build stuff with the MUS blocks, like towers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I'm probably no help since we don't actually use the programs, but DS really likes those rods and there are lots of activity books to go with them.