I've been having a very helpful exchange via PM with Rob and now put it up here for others who may be interested and/or have ideas.
I started off by saying that I've been spending a lot of time reading about and looking at the tutorials on the about-to-be-released (in the UK) Silver Efex Pro 2 ... and wondering.
But, as many of you will know, it is a Plug-In for Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. And as many of you also know, I use the GIMP and, despite what some of you think of that, I feel a, probably, misplaced sense of loyalty towards it. And I don't want to have to learn all that stuff all over again!
So, my question was - Is there some sort of work-around? That allows me to invest in SEP2, but not have to spend a fortune on the package into which I need to plug it.
Rob, very helpfully came back to me with the following:
"I have no idea how GIMP works, but you need PS or Lightroom because a lot of the processing it does must be done in PS/Lightroom.
My workflow is to do most of the structural changes in RAW then import to PS/CS5 proper. I usually go straight into Silver Efex from there before I do anuthing else (apart from anything else I want to see what it looks like, and don't want to waste time doing CS5 tidy-up processing if it's not going to work.) After BW conversion I will do final processing in CS5 as a BW image. SE works in 64 bit mode on 16bit images, so none of that is a problem.
So, your only option that I can see is to purchase PS Elements V9 (currently going for £60 on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adobe-Photos...8304527&sr=1-1 That is compatible with SE. You can do your RAW processing in GIMP (if that's where you do it), then export the RAW output to Elements, run SE to convert, then either final process in Elements, or back to GIMP.
I can't see another way to do it."
Another helpful suggestion Rob made was to, "drop them (Nik) a line to check, and also ask about using GIMP." I think I already know the answer, but I'm going to ask.