ACR and LR are not the same. ACR uses 1.8 gamma and LR is linear. Iridient released ver 2.4 Thursday.
I consider PhotoNinja to be overpriced by a factor of two, and their update policy is almost as bad as CC subscription. All or nearly all Raw converters except Adobe are just dcraw with clothes on anyway, with the possible exception of DxO and Cap One, not sure there's any real difference.
Neither PN or Iridient have editing tools beyond developing the image, so you have to have another app, and you can get PS Elements 12 for about sixty bucks that has developing and tools and the latest ACR.
I'd like to see an objective test of the developing capabilities of the dozen or so raw converters. I have a lot of them myself, but have no idea what a starting point image might be that would push the envelope .
I have CS5 with ACR 6.7, PSE with whatever version of ACR it supports, AfterShot Pro(Bibble), ACDSee Pro 3 for Mac, PaintShop Pro X6, Capture One Express 7.x.x, AccuRaw, RawTherapee for OS 10.7, Aperture, and bunch of other minor league players.
Maybe one of the real experts in LuLa has an image that would wring out a converter.