I haven't read all the posts in the four pages of this thread yet, so these points may have already been mentioned, but I think they are worthwhile nonetheless:
Why don't you just use the Canon Digital Photo Professional software bundled with your camera? It should offer pretty much everything that you are looking for, and doesn't have a huge learning curve. That's what I started out with before moving to Lightroom. Best of all, it's free!
The $300 normal price for Lightroom 3 might seem a bit steep for an amateur just getting started, but you do get what you pay for. Additionally, it has been going on sale quote often recently if you keep on eye on it. I ended up getting it when it dropped to $120 on Amazon back in June, but I see it regularly drop to the ~$150 range every other week or so. Even better if you're a student/teacher, it's only $70!
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