That’s really hard to say! For interactive fun, Octatrack, maybe? It sometimes isn’t easy and it often isn’t quick, but it can be what I need it to be at any given time. Yeah, really, it’s probably the Octatrack, though I use other things for specific purposes.
For fidelity, probably the Akai Z4 with an fx board. 24-bit multisampling with all the trimmings in a 2U rack.
For in-fidelity, the Mirage. I still keep a Mirage rack around for that sound.
For “doing it the hard way”, the PPG Waveterm A/Wave 2.2 combo. I love how it sounds, and I love getting stuck in that old-time interface, though I tend to use it more to create custom wavetables.
I never owned an E-max, but I wanted to! I had a couple of ESI-32s which I loved for the Z-plane filters.
Having said that (which was utterly non-committal, I know!), the thing I most often use for samples is Kyma, with the Digitakt a close second, due to its speed and ease of use. Although now, having the EPS back in my life, I am enjoying it immensely. I am still so familiar with it, that it could be very easy for me to make it my main sampler when i am in a hurry.
But still, the Octatrack was a real game-changer for me, putting many of the things I was doing with other, more difficult process into an easier interface (yeah, I just said that about the Octatrack. Weird). It got me back into hardware sampling. Despite its limitations, I’d take the Octatrack over anything else on my list, with the exception of Kyma.