Jonathan, Roman and dchew,
Thanks for the tips. While the critters that I photograph are "usually" motionless when I shoot them, increasing the shutter speed is probably a suggestion that I will take seriously. I had always figured that being on a tripod and remote release was sufficient... learning... As far as using the timer, I will most of the time click once to lock the mirror up and count to 5 then click again to activate the shutter. I am also trying out higher ISO when I shoot. Tried Noise Ninja and it seems to take care of any noise that shows up. Manual focus is also something I will certainly try.
Thanks for the tip on sharpening... I shoot in RAW and have a couple of sharpening programs... specifically PS CS3 (and the new Camera Raw 4.1), and PK Sharpener from Pixel Genius. I have mainly used PK Sharpener, but the CR 4.1 looks interesting. Since the camera takes many spot on photos, I tend to think that the focus errors are mainly "pilot error", not due to the camera.
Finally, Jonathan, when you say a rigid tripod, what specifically do you mean?... the tripod itself is quite rigid... are you referring to the surface it sits on? I guess I am at the mercy of the location that I am shooting at. If you have any suggestions as to how to improve a bad situation, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.