Sun 23-Dec-12 08:54 PM | edited Sun 23-Dec-12 08:56 PM by ericbowles
For the reasons Pete and the others provided, View NX2 / Capture NX2 and Lightroom are the most frequently used post processing programs.
I refer to View and Capture together since View is used for rating, browsing, light editing, and resulting conversion to JPEG. Capture is the advanced editor for larger prints and it is very powerful. Both of these programs allow lossless edits to the compressed NEF file. Without resorting to layers, you can go back and modify any editing step at any time. And the programs use the camera settings so picture controls, active D Lighting, and white balance settings produce the same image from a NEF that they do for a JPEG.
Since you're a Photoshop user, you might take a look at Lightroom. Lightroom started as a catalog, but has evolved into a pretty good image editor. For most professionals, Lightroom has become the tool of choice because it is so much easier and faster. It works with a NEF file and edits are reversible.
Either Lightroom or View/Capture can handle 98% of the editing needs for most advanced photographers.
Photoshop may still have a place for a small percentage of edits. I own CS6 and use it for things like adding canvas, mirrored edges, advanced cloning, and print management.
Keep in mind that any product has a learning curve and you will need to invest some time and effort in tutorials or classes to fully understand the capabilities.