If you are looking for a turnkey solution, then the products you mention
will work. However, if you are willing to build some components
yourself, you can accomplish most of what you want without cost. Without
reader extensions you cannot save a filled PDF, however, you can submit
your XML to a server. That same XML can be used to be imported into a
PDF, using a "turncoat" XDP.
I'm afraid the show / hide approach may be your only other option.
LiveCycle is template based, not page based. This is a key feature of
the tool as it allows content to dynamically flow over multiple pages
according to the content requirements.
Assuming that you only want the report to be printed, you can employ the
solution in the blog below:Multiple Top Level Subforms Essentially you
will be authoring two "forms", one for interactive (Acrobat) use, and
another or printing.
I am not familiar enough with AcroForms to give you a similar approach,
but LiveCycle is XML based. You can easily export XML from one form to
feed another. This can be done seamlessly if the forms fields have the
same name, otherwise you will need to add a mapping layer (XSLT).
Q1) LiveCycle uses an XML based technology to build forms (called XFA),
while Acroforms is an extension of the core PDF standard. XFA has more
features than Acroforms at this time. For your purposes, either will
work.Q2) I believe the Import / Export restriction applies equally to
Acroforms and XFA forms. Using Acrobat lifts these restrictions.Q3) ES4
is the last version of LiveCycle. The new product is called AEM. You can
download a trial using these instructions:LiveCycle Blog: AEM Forms