Adobe is the gold standard for photo software, but it ain't cheap. I've enjoyed everything about CS2 except it's RAW editor, ACR 3.1. In my hands, it didn't deliver results that encouraged me to stop being a jpeg shooter. But the version in CS3, ACR 4.5, is widely regarded as much improved, so I was considering an upgrade. Some of the guys on the Retouching forum, notably Philippe Roger, encouraged me to try out Lightroom 2, which includes ACR 4.5, and after a week's trial, I was hooked. But the $300 price tag gave me pause... until I came up with a plan. The day I became a grandpa, I applied for admission to a nearby JC - West Valley College Once accepted, I drove over to the campus and got a student ID Today, I drove over to an educational software store, Creation Engines, and picked up a student copy of Lightroom 2 for $98. Then I registered for a lab course in studio portraiture. So instead of just getting the software, I'll get LR2 and a college course for about the same price. I'll let you know how the course works out, but right now this seems like a neat deal. Boy the coeds look young . NOTE: There is discussion later in this thread about possible restrictions imposed by Adobe on copies of Lightroom 2 purchased with a student discount. We've checked the small print, and there are no such clauses in the current licensing agreement for Lightroom 2. Greg (Electromen) actually checked with Adobe, and they confirm there is no restriction against using educational software for payjobs. So take a course at a community college, learn something, and save a bundle at the same time!