The box versions of Aperture would be a bad deal:
- It will install Aperture 3.1.x, not the current version, with an installer, that may have an invalid certificate.
- The regular price is much too high compared to the App Store price.
- The licence is very restrictive. You can only install it on one desktop mac and one portable mac; while the App Store version licence will allow you to install it on any mac you own/control (for private purposes) - you could outfit your whole household with one purchase.
- The only advantage of the boxed version is the box, the media, and some sample images to be used with the tutorials.
And I hope Frank will answer you question
The only place you still might find a boxed version of Aperture is Amazon or Ebay or places like that. Apple doesn;t sell it anymore.
As Léonie wrote that would be a bad deal as the boxed version use to sell for $180 or so and the App Store version is $79. Now you might find the boxed version discounted (if you can find one at all) but still it seems like the best way to go is through the App Store. In addition there are differences in the license (if you or the giftee have multiple machines this is a big deal) and installing the boxed version might require some system tweaks even just to get it going.
I know giving s gift card isn't as satisfying as given a wrapped box but still if it was up to me I'd go with the gift card and the App Store version. Less hassles in the long run.