I've moved this thread over to Imaging and Video Editing Software
: you might find some answers to the questions raised in other threads in this section.
There's a case to make that the camera manufacturer's own RAW converter is a good place to start as they know a great deal about the characteristics of their sensors and, in Canon's case at least, also provide built in correction profiles for their lenses. But arguably the heavyweights, such as Adobe, provide more functionality in addition to the basic task of converting the RAW data. For myself, and speaking strictly as a "happy snapper", I prefer to let Canon's own DPP software do the RAW conversion and lens corrections if needed. I can then use DPP's "batch processing" to send the keepers over to Adobe Bridge as (lossless) 16 bit TIFF files from where I can invoke Adobe Camera Raw to do the bulk of my post-processing, finishing off as needed by finally transferring the images across to PhotoShop.