I just saw this post! The are still a great binding and I am not sure why people dont use them anymore. I do and a few of my buddy and they are so good, really supportive, nice toe cap and super responsive!
My first pair of boots was a Northwave circa 1995 that were retard-soft compared to today's boots but I liked them at the time. I had a pair of Drake SuperSports that lasted me 4 or 5 seasons, comfy, and built to last.
But you're right, you don't hear much about Drake/Northwave anymore. I thought I heard they are targeting the European market and kinda scaled back in the North American market.
Used to ride 2001 Drake Podiums and they had way too many parts and options and fell apart. I paid like $300 for them and they were so uncomfortable. The early Unions were very similar to drakes just with HUGE upgrades. I bet drake is kicking themselves for not allowing the engineers to make the improvements they wanted to. C3 gave them an opportunity and it has clearly paid off.