I thought there'd be a few of us. More will come along I bet.
That downloader looks interesting Nigel. However, I'm very happy with Lightroom which downloads and catalogues pictures, allows you to organise them in folders, rename them etc. and then you can edit RAW files in a non destructive way so you always have the original.
I just looked and it's a £160 which is more than I thought but still a lot less than 8 or 9 hundred for Photoshop.
I got really lucky. About 6 years ago I bought a RAW converter online. It was a free version and then go pro for 20+ pounds and it was so good I did. Adobe bought it and turned it into Lightroom. I got Lightroom 2 for free plus continuing upgrades
I sympathise beauparc. I was "gifted" PS CS2 and even did a short course on how to use it. I found some of it very useful but the guy teaching us the course kept showing us tricks like putting different heads on animals bodies or making people's expression change.
I suppose he was trying to demonstrate what photoshop could do but I'm mainly landscape and abstract in my interests and didn't find it that useful. Also bloody hard. Working with layers was mind boggling.
I can now see the virtue in some of those tricks. The friend who I do weddings with is very skilled in Photoshop. When you take group shots there's always someone with one eye shut or pulling a funny face etc and it's always the best shot in every other way.
He can transpose a smiling face onto the grimacer and you can't see the join
I've tried the Gimp but that is just as complex. Paint.net is a good freebie.
However for most of the kind of pics I take all I need is a little contrast boost or colour temperature alteration. I can do that in Picasa.
The problem with printer output not matching what you see on your screen is something you can fix as Nate says but if it's only slight just make allowances for it.
Here's a landscape from last year that I was pleased with. Hmmn. Forget that it's 46MB
and I don't have time to convert it from a tif. right now so here's something else. This is a pretty straight shot but I did spend time removinf floating bugs etc from the surface of the water to make the illusion work