>(...) but to view the RAW files, you have to use either an >Adobe product or the Nikon viewer.
Yikes! Not really . . . Adobe is not now, nor has it ever been, the only choice or the best choice for everyone. There are a number of other excellent - some say much better - choices out there.
ACDSee Pro 6 is a superb photo editor and a superb cataloging product and offers excellent Nikon NEF/RAW file conversion. ACDSee was for years (from the mid-90s) the best image viewing software on the market anywhere - even more robust than the amazing IrfanView. It evolved quite a number of years ago into an excellent, professional photo editor - something I like much better than Lightroom or any other Adobe product. Used by pros, semi-pros, enthusiasts, hobbyists and novices. The NEF/RAW conversion is at least as good as Adobe's, if not quite as perfect as Capture One.
Capture One Pro 7 is another wonderful photo editor and NEF/RAW convertor. The software actuall does NEF conversions that are effectively indistinguishable from the Nikon convertor. Used by pros, semi-pros, enthusiasts and hobbyist.
Capture NX2 is Nikon's branded product, formerly developed by Nik Software, is now being managed under a new development license agreement for Nikon. Like ACDSee Pro and Capture One Pro, Capture NX2 has powerful photo editing/post-processing tools and also boasts a great NEF/RAW convertor because of the direct connection with Nikon. Used by pros, semi-pros, enthusiasts, hobbyists and amateurs.
Aperture 3, if you're using an Apple laptop or desktop of any kind, is the king of photo editing and cataloging software for Mac OS X. Used by pros, semi-pros, enthusiasts, hobbyists and amateurs. Aperture offers almost everything you'll find in all the other products listed here, it's a native Mac OS X product (developed by Apple, as opposed to being a third-party port), and it's very powerful. The Aperture development team is a bit behind the curve at the moment because the software is long overdue for a major revision. But it's feature rich and easily competes head to head with Adobe products.
Adobe is only one of many great choices, and by no means necessarily the best. Support for all the other products listed in this post is excellent, with vast user communities, active company support, regular NEF/RAW convertor updates and so on.