Stef, I must agree.
With all respect to dowden photography and to Clive, to say that "As for NR programs, I've found most are pretty much a waste of money." is to ignore that many professionals use these programs with great success. They do have a steep learning curve in order to use them correctly. Make and maintain the effort to learn and you may be pleasantly surprised.
I am still struggling with NR but have had some success. The problem is with me, not the programs.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.