I only shoot RAW and use ACR. Based on many comments here about NX2 I downloaded a trail copy and played with it today. Bottom line, I will not use ACR in the future. NX2 is easy to use (so is ACR!!!) and gives me results I like better!
Just like you, I used Lightroom for a couple of years and just didn't like the way my pictures came out. Tried NX2 one day and never looked back. The colors came out much better, more true to what I saw. Then I added Nik's Software inside NX2 that added icing to the cake.
I have Nikon NX2 Version 2.0.0 I purchased the same time that I bought PSE 8, and that I use to convert NEF files to JPEG's for my office computer. NX2 produces images that are closer to the captured scene. But I haven't compared the newer versions of NX2 to PSE 11 and LR4.
I am a Lightroom/Photoshop user and I have used NX2 a few times. I never go used to it, but when I used it, I found that it much more closely emulated what was going on in the camera than Photoshop/lightroom did. Adobe always seemed to alter my colors when I was pulling the images in. I hate that. Does Nikon provide a cataloging solution? Sorry for my ignorance here, but I would love to push myself to use their editing since it is more true than Adobe, but I need the integration that Adobe has. Thoughts?
Nikon does not have a catalog application. CNX2 is not very flexible as a file manager. VNX is a decent browser and OK for light editing.
Many people, including me, pair CNX2 with Photo Mechanic. PM is a great file manager, browser, image ingester and tagging application. They are working on a cataloging add-on. I use PM to launch directly in CNX for editing, or other specialty apps, as needed.