I can't understand why people spend so much on Photoshop Lightroom etc when DxO is so fantastically good at a fraction of the price.
Photoshop is bloatware for photographers really; most would struggle to use 10% of it's available features.
You're getting different products mixed up there Desmo. Lightroom and Photoshop CS5 are very different programs.
Lightroom is the same price as DXO (US$299 - DxO, Lightroom), though Lightroom add-on presets are free and enourmously plentiful, while the equivalent DxO film pack is $99 (there are also commercial presets for LR, but the volume of free ones is stunning)
Personally I use virtually all of Lightroom's features.
Photoshop CS5, on the other hand, is the 'bloated' program with more features than any one person is likely to use. It's also the professional standard, and so there is significantly more information and how-to tutorial material available, which makes it popular amongst people who don't actually needs all the features.
Photoshop CS5 and its antecedents have also been around far far longer than the others, so many users who have been at he game for a while continue to use it as it's more natural and efficient to stick to what you know rather than learn a whole different interface... and of course a lot of people tried DxO when it was first released (prematurely), and it was nowhere near comparable. It's improved now, but most people only give an 'alternative' program one chance. Just like lots of Photoshop (CS5 / CS4) users aren't on Lightroom because the initial lightroom releases weren't all that mature.
I was generalising. Of course I know Lightroom and Photoshop are quite different. Yes, Photoshop is the bloatware and all most people probably need is covered in far cheaper products.
As for RAW processors; it's like a set of lenses. You choose the base program and follow the upgrade path rather than changing systems completely and paying big bucks again. I chose DxO because I really liked the specific lens/body profiling and also the massive amount of automation it affords. Yes, I have Film Pack 2 as well.
Generally though, I'm processing 300+ RAW images at a time and I'm supplying DVD's to clients. I will spend more time on a few shots if necessary but to be honest I think the photographers eye sells the shot far more than post processing does.
I've also had ACDSee since the stone age (1 megapixel cameras) and have always updated it. Again, the automation is the key. I use this as a library tool and for super quick changes to jpegs for the likes of this forum. The auto of, DC, and website creators are also excellent for compiling professional CD/DVD for clients.
Other image software on my laptop: Neat Image, Corel Draw 4 (for those photoshop things without all the cost and a bit less bloatware), Painter (I use this one a bit), Focus Magic.
I have Adobe CS2 but really can't be bothered installing it (student version from a few years back)
Modern Laptops are awesome with graphics software. My desktop benchmarks on Microsoft at 4.5 out of 7.5, my laptop is 5.9 and would be 6.5 if the hard drive was quicker: i7 quad core processor with 4GB ram. This is great as it's fast and I can start 300 images off and leave them to process in DxO.
I don't really want to spend as much time in front of a computer screen as I used to on a print back in film days. Mind you, I will if the image really deserves it; I just don't think it's all that necessary if the light, composition and timning coupled with the pohotographers eye got it all right in the first place.