Very good overivew Ted!
One way I look at it is this - compare it to film, I'll use slides here. JPEGs are the equivelant of what you get from the lab when you drop off a roll of slides - the processed product. You look at it and you're pretty much done with it. You botched something, you can't really correct it. RAWs on the other hand are the undeveloped roll of slides. You can push or pull process them if you want. But the beauty of RAW that you don't get with slides is if you don't like the processing choices you've made, you can do it again, and again, and again without damaging the original "film."
For me, since quite a bit of my work goes to magazines (and soon books) for publication consideration, I always shoot RAW. What has helped my workflow is the now defunct program Rawshooter Premium 2006. I can go through a few hundred RAW files in less than an hour. That's culling the crap, rotation & crop, color/white balance correction and processing to either JPEG or TIFF. JPEGs are for web use, and for emailing samples, and TIFFs are the ones that go out to the publications.
Anyways, to each their own - everyone's got their own method that works for them. Don't be afraid to try a new method, but don't do it just because the so-called "pros" are doing it. If it doesn't work for you, find another way. There's more than one way to skin a cat...