No worries, take a load off. Thanks for giving those files a shot.
Aperture is a good app that doesn't get a lot of respect. Considering it hasn't seen a major update in a long time it holds up really well, IMO. It shines with well lit (nominal/"good") images and is good at getting you where you want to go quickly. I believe it has the best interface for adding local adjustments, and is well regarded as having great library mgmt and org tools. I also think it does great for coping with blown highlights. It gets a lot right, and it does a lot well.
On the down side it starts to be really limiting when trying to recover details in underexposed and noisy low light zones. I'll post a render of one of the cr2's I posted and you'll see that while color is good other tools like C1 and RT have so much more to offer to deal with these situations.
Of course, it's also missing things like lens corrections, gradient masks, and the one thing I really like in LR--the ability to adjust curves right in the histogram. I also wish it offered local exposure control.
On the other hand, no other tool I've used enables you to stack multiple adjustments of the same type...e.g. N number of curve adjustments can be added, some local, some global...and any adjustment can be enabled/disabled selectively. C1 and LR can do this to a degree, but their implementations are "half empty" rather than "half full."
Oh well, now that Aperture has been EOL'd, I'll keep using it until I'm forced to move on. I hate the thought of losing all the "value" I've added to my library (all the metadata that enables me to access all these images quickly and efficiently). Faces, Places, all the keywords, flags, tags, ratings...plus all the nondestructive adjustments...they can take it from my cold dead hands!