Having just gotten my hands on a d3000, I've been experimenting with all of the options, and finally made my way to RAW. I'd been shooting in JPG, and enjoying the pictures, but I've never had a camera that shot in RAW - I knew a relative amount *about* RAW, but had never touched it. A bit of google searching led me to such gems as "If you're asking 'should I be shooting in RAW or JPG?', then JPG is fine for you." Still, I switched to RAW and started shooting.
What I found was that there was a noticeable difference, even without any manipulation on my part. The RAW images seemed to have more "real" color, contrast, shading, etc. The JPG images, in comparison, all seemed.. well, processed.
I tried three or so programs to bring up the RAW images, and ultimately found that Picasa seemed the best for me - I'm already accustomed to using it, and the RAW images look better in it than they do in ViewNX or even Photoshop. I'm a little surprised at this, and keep wondering if maybe my untrained eye or lack of knowledge is convincing me that one image is superior to another.
So with all of that said, I'm looking for input from you folks. I'm totally in the amateur category, and though I might do a bit of tweaking on a photo here and there, I'm not going to spend tons of time editing images at this point.