I have probably tried out every RAW conversion software out there (or at least my brain thinks so) and have come to the conclusion that each one has something "special" that makes it hard for me to uninstall from my computer...
Lightroom for example has an absolutely gorgeous printing mechanism... Too bad it doesn't have soft proofing but it does a great job as-is. I also like Lightroom to rip through thousands of images very quickly so I can tag the gems. Their cataloging feature is also very good so I can meta tag my images and export my catalog in the same directory as my master image folder so I can always come back to my images at their current state. The DNG Profile Creator is also a nice tool for getting accurate default colors. http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Profiles:Editor
I did find that to be a little tricky to get the best results since they ask for very specific lighting to shoot the colorchecker in. I found that the Capture to Print videos do a better job of doing it via ACR/Photoshop. Anyways, it is a great way to calibrate your camera based on your specific camera and not an overall general profile covering all the cameras within your particular model. Each could be slightly different you know?
Aperture is only useful for me when making albums and books. Other than that, I can take it or leave it. The controls are a lot more harder to get to than Lightroom.
Phase One Capture One: This program knocked my socks off for skin tones. Chunky interface but well worth it. I also like how it renders landscapes quite nicely. Great for taking your favorites and giving them a nice edit.
Capture NX2: Awesome for landscapes! I find myself taking my favorite handful of shots and running them through here. I am in love with their control points! This and Capture 1 are usually what I make my final image with. That means, the editing and exporting is all done through those programs. I would recommend Vincent Versace's Unleashing The Power of NX2 video
available via Acme Educational
I shoot Nikon by the way and have some D700s and a D90 for video experiments... Just my two cents about various RAW editing software out there. There are a bunch more but I found myself leaning towards the more well known ones.