Re: Anyone have any opinions on Aftershot?
In most respects I'm also in the 'enthusiastic amateur' role, but I have several large-scale on-site portraiture gigs a year. I've been using Bibble Pro/Aftershot since it was the only 3rd party RAW game in town. I've tried others, and they have some very good points, but I keep going back due to some of Aftershot's nicer quirks:
-Pro's generous license terms (All your personal systems on all three platforms, last I looked) I've actually used all three platforms in my workflow once. The Linux version seems to work surprisingly well, it's only occasionally gripey about libraries, etc.
-Easy to use interface - for me it's MUCH faster to blaze through a thousand-photo portrait session with it than anything else. Closest I came with Lightroom was hooking up a MIDI slider controller to tweak variables quickly.
-In-filesystem XML storage of edit data. I LOVE this one. Edit on laptop, put the directory on a file server, do the final tweaks and JPEG output on the faster desktop, all seamlessly. Nothing else I've seen does that neatly. Works across sessions and platforms, no messy database linkups.
As you say, it's not Photoshop, but it's a good (not as pretty) Lightroom/Aperture competitor. It lacks a few of the advanced features of those, but makes up for it a bit with an interesting plugin API. Totally agreed that the one 'make it better' feature would be multi-monitor support - tool palette and grid in one window, output in the other.