I have been using Aperture for about 6 months now; and I love this program. I run a MacBook Pro on trips, and at home I have a new Xeon tower which just flies. Version 1.5 of Aperture is a great improvement over the original. Specifically for those people with large databases in different locations, Aperture now allows access to these different databaes without having to keep them all in one aperture Library. (Not an issue for me)
A few weeks ago I was on tthe Shark Shootout trip with Stephen Frink, and everyday we came back after diving and had to download all our images, choose 10 or so favorites, do some limited editing as needed and then present these to the group. Pics were downloaded and then backed up separately to an Epson 2400. Aperture was just awesome; the stack and sort features are the best I have seen for initial sorting and choice of images. Basic editing, including color balance, backscatter spotting, cropping and curve adjustment where excellent. Further editing in Photoshop is seamless, and all edited versions are kept organized in Aperture. The program really shines in the way it keeps all your different versions in a nice neat stack, such as cropped versions, photoshop version, black and white version etc, all together with the master version untouched for comparison.
Exporting quickly with jpeg conversion was a one step process, unlike Photomechanic, for the photos then to be given to Steve to present on his computer.
I still use photoshop for more sophisticated editing, but much of it is because I am still learning Aperture and I find that I am doing less and less in Photoshop as I get more comfortable with the raw editing features of Aperture.
When I got home I simply exported my Shark Shootout project to my desktop, and imported it into my desktop Aperture library where it is backed up to a vault.
I then quickly created a web gallery in Aperture (10 minutes) and exported it to .Mac as seen in the gallery on this sitehttp://homepage.mac......hootout 2006/
I think as I become familiar with Aperture editing features, I will probably use Photoshop less, though it is likely I will always keep Photoshop for more sophisticated editing, preprint work etc.
I would like to see more versatility in future versions with regard to creating websites, though Aperture easily exports to iWeb etc. Though I have not yet used the book printing feature, it looks great, and I have some ideas for this in the near future.
Overall I think it is an amazing program, but it does need more recent, faster hardware to run well, and specifically faster video cards and lots of RAM. Particularly all the stack and sort features are obviously very intensive with regard to the graphic card. With the right hardware I think it is way better than Lightroom, and better than Photomechanic which I have used until I started using Aperture.
One of the attractions for me on the demo was the speed with which Aperture opened & displayed RAW thumbnails - it looked very impressive!
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.