|Before: unprocessed RAW image|
|After: processed RAW image|
For the time being I've worked on small batches of photos. I'm not sure if I would shoot RAW if I took my camera abroad for example where I might come back with several hundred shots - the amount of processing would become tiresome I imagine (though batch processing is an option I guess). I'm happy to tinker at the moment.
I can recommend Jared Polin's excellent Fro Knows Photo site for anybody beginning to take photography and processing seriously - each week you can download a RAW file, work on it yourself and compare it to how he and other site users have done.
For a critical view of shooting RAW read this Ken Rockwell post.
For a defence of RAW see this Jared Polin post on Fro Knows Photo.
You can download a 30 day free trial of Photoshop Lightroom 4 from Adobe's site here.