I can tell my path to RAW.
Coming from P&S, my first SLR I started with JPEG. Everyone kept telling me to switch to RAW, mostly for 2 reasons:
-Editing RAW doesn't destroy the original, you can always revert back
-You don't need to worry about WB
Because of these comments, I stayed longer on JPEG than I would have otherwise. The first comment is just insanely stupid, if you really care about original, or course you make folder to keep the original files, and edit only copies. Which I was doing anyway. And I could count (totally) missed WB shots with my one hand fingers.
So because I felt the reasons to switch were stupid, I didn't switch.
For a while I was testing RAW, but I tried PS CS2 (at the time the latest), and it was so confusing. Compared to how I edited JPEGs on PSP-X, I was able to get better results from JPEG with few minute editing (per photo), compared to long struggle with RAW in CS2.
So I gave up, went back to JPEG.
But reading more, there's dynamic range and lot of better editing options and such, so I wanted the RAW.
So I bought Bibble (4.x at the time, 5.x later), and it was sooooooo much easier than CS2, and I was happy to switch to RAW. Editing timewise was only slightly slower than JPEG, and results were much better. Few years of this, and I bought myself LR3 and later LR4. Last year I upgraded to CS6, although I do most edits still at LR4.
My conclusion: it depends on person, but stepping up to RAW should happen at some point of the learning curve. But using JPEG is just fine.
Of course there's special cases, like many sport/event shooters who use jpeg because:
-Basically unlimited buffer even at high fps
-One big card can store thousands of photos
-Quick turnaround if need to send pictures immediately to boss/magazine/web