I'm really beginning to understand the purpose of this thread (I'm a quick study!). I have licenses for exifpro and for PhotoCollector and also for PaintShop Pro, which has some organizational capabilities (not tested by me, yet) built in. FRUSTRATING! I'll elaborate later, but after not bothering for a long time, I've reinstalled exifPro and PhotoCollector and am attempting to get organized again...
Seriously! I was excited about exifPro also because it was so lightweight and fast, but it lacks in a lot of other ways. I haven't played with photoCollector extensively, but it's not that great either. I'm coming to the conclusion that this is one of those cases where you're going to need to use multiple software to accomplish the tasks that we are expecting one application to do. I've read that this is the case on forums where they discuss DAM (digital asset management).
For me, this is my suit of software:
I use this as my quickview application. My picture filetypes are registered for maxview. It is really quick when double-clicking on files to open or view. It also handles basic editing like cropping/resizing/rotating easy enough.
I'm using ACDSee for browsing pictures, I always have. It also has a "quickview" module, but maxview is way better for that. But ACDsee has gotten slower and slower, and the latest interface change I felt was extremely counter-productive.
I don't use this much, but I've heard this is THE program to use if you are dealing with a ton of RAW files. It's speed in handling RAW files is apparently unmatched.
I don't know what I'd use for organization. That's why i'm following this thread. I'm not a big photo user, so i don't have a lot of pictures. But if I did, I don't know what program I'd use. Tagging, cataloging, etc. I don't do any of that. My photos are organized just by folders and files. I'm actually amazed that nobody has recommended a clear cut favorite in this thread...it's been a while! In my experiences, I've found that the applications that can do this well are really really slow. Like Lightroom.
eps & ai files
Adobe Bridge is the only option here that can read these files and browse with thumbnails. Actually, there's a program called STS Thumbnails which can also read ai and eps files, but it's a pretty klunky program itself, and sometimes it can't read everything Bridge can. On the other hand, bridge crashes a lot. These are the only two software that I know of that can do this.