Reason I ask is because there's a Lightroom (6 hour) short course running on Saturday from a well-known and respected educational insitution. I've already completed 4 photography-based short courses before and am currently (almost finished) two more photography short courses. ALL the short courses I've done have been over $600 each which certainly adds up (6x$600-$650=NEW body and 2 lenses). I'm also doing a photography course next year (not a short course, goes or 3yrs). [...] Lighroom really worth doing a 6hr course? I know I'm going to regret not doing it but I don't even have Lighroom and I don't know my way around a Mac.You really hate money, don't you?
Forget Lightroom, get the GIMP and use it on your regular ol' PC. No problem at all.
I admit, it's taken me a while to get used to the non-PS layout but it works well enough, I think. (It'll work better once they get the GEGL, i.e. video card accelerated non-destructive processing, stuff done.)