But the best thing, I think, is to just use Lightroom. Get the feel for what can be done and then be prepared for things to change as the next beta rolls around. I would not try to use it for real serious mission critical work and jobs-it is still beta ya know. But getting the real feel for the logic and design behind the app will help a lot.
Yes, there´s the problem. Personally, I like what I´ve seen of Lightroom a lot; at present I use ACR, and while ACR delivers, I wouldn´t miss it once LR is ready to take over.
Still, as long as LR can´t use my older ACR edits, and I can´t be sure even the next LR wlii be able to use edits I do now in LR, I simply cannot afford to dive right in. The only thing I can do is to experiment a little when I have some spare time, and that´s not enough to really get the feel of it.
Read this as a simple statement of fact, not as critique. But I´m sure feelings like these are what lie behind much of the impatience vented here. Not very constructive, to be sure, but in a way they show that many of us are both willing and eager to actually USE LR on a day-to-day basis, and we´re counting the days to when we can do that.
A wild idea: I´ve looked into some of the sidecar files of images I´ve edited in both ACR and LR. Both seem to write XML code in different parts of the sidecar, so couldn´t an enterprising and XML-speaking person write a simple "translation" script that edits an xmp file and makes the settings from one application as similar as possible to those of the other (I think of settings like colour balance, overall brightness, and the like)? It wouldn´t go the whole way, but at least it would come closer to showing the files in a similar way, and since the raw´s themselves are unaffected, there´s not much risk involved.