I have no thoughts on dcRAW...other than Dave Coffin has done the industry a service but I have no need for a conversion tool that results in linear files.
DCRaw can output linear files (gamma = 1.0), which is not something that can't be done with ACR to the best of my knowledge. Setting contrast, brightness and black point to zero in ACR will produce a linear tonal response curve, the the resulting file is still gamma encoded. DCraw can also render into aRBG, sRGB, and ProPhotoRGB. However, its command line interface is not conducive to large volume work.
In a recent test where I calibrated ACR with the Fors script for my Nikon D200, I found that DCRaw produced a smaller ΔE*94 than either ACR or Nikon Capture NX. Since DCRaw uses the Adobe coefficients for converting from the camera space to the working space (at least when I last reviewed the source code), the smaller ΔE*94 is somewhat surprising.]