Currently using combo of Aperture and Photoshop 5 on multiple computers (with multiple copies all over the place , and hoping to get more organized soon. Is it worth my consolidating all my keepers into this new LR ? Is the transition easy? Will it move (or copy) my originals as they are imported?
Not sure if this is a simple yes/no question. I guess you have to try it. I personally find Lightroom especially weak at what its core functionality is supposed to be: organizing things.
Especially when using more than one computer I find stuff to get all over the place quickly since Lightroom manages the edits as a virtual catalog. If you have all your photos in one place, say a network drive that you access from all computers, it may be easier - you "just" need to make sure to always synchronize the virtual catalogs then. Since you are talking about "keepers" it sounds as if your workflow may be more like mine in which you prefer an actual finished result and not a virtual version in some LR catalog.
I only bought Lightroom 3 because I could get it cheap for about $100. That's about what I find it's worth. I'm not going to spend more money to upgrade and none of the new features sound interesting to me.
LR is great for a quick fix of things or if you do some basic edits to a batch of photos. Also some of the export to web functions are ok (not great, but ok). Some of its presets are great to try out different styles and ideas quickly.
Generally speaking, I'm still more comfortable with using Photoshop and then save a final result to an "edits" folder together with the originals and then back that up and sync it to my other locations. Yes, that does eat even more memory but what the heck. In the grand scheme of things the occasional new hard drive isn't really the problem.