How about the photograph editing software that came with your camera? I used my EOS utility and editing thingy and Olympus own editing software for ages before finally getting the LR and photoshop. Get a feel of these included software and most of the time, they are enough for most people.
I use Corel Paintshop Pro. Started with Ultimate X2 then skipped a few upgrades and using X5 now. This is for editing only. Used to use photoshop, I think it was 3.0 but stopped using it when Windows XP came along. Also because Photoshop became Photoshop CS.
My habit is to upgrade the software or get a new one only when I upgrade my hardware. Yeah, I am quite a cheapo.
I did download trials for the adobe and Corel products. In the end bought Paintshop as it is more value for money, I feel.
If you just want the best then go with the industry standard. While the cost is high, mastering it may open doors for you in the industry.