Well, I just bit the bullet, and downloaded the 1.0 demo. The B4 version that I've been perfectly happy with expires in 24.5 hours, so it was time. I'm still waiting on my boxed (educational pricing) version to come in. There's no difference or restriction to the trial version, except that it expires after 30 days. You can even buy it by purchasing a serial number without needing the retail box.
There are some differences between the commercial and B3 / B4 interface that I had gotten used to, so I've had to deal with some annoyances that won't affect late adopters.
It migrated my library files without a hitch, but lost my camera and metadata presets. I suppose these things happen.
One thing that I like about lightroom is the ability to apply development settings when the photos are imported, and the ability to create custom settings profiles. I'm planning on creating some that mimic my cameras' characteristics from its jpeg engine on the different colour settings. (Finally a real use for jpeg+raw recording!) I'll build other profiles for when I'm shooting various other styles, such as one for Interior photography that adds more fill light and gives gentler blacks, moderate contrast, accurate colour, higher smoothing, and a daylight white balance.
I've also stopped using the vestigial Elements -- I'm now using Lightroom's Export options more intelligently, and created an Export preset to generate web-ready images. It automatically converts them to sRGB, appends "-web" to the original filename, constrains it to a maximum of 750x600 pixels, adds my copyright info (read from the metadata), and saves it as a jpeg at 60% quality to my "Upfull Grapevine" folder instead of the usual "Photograpes" that my full-sized images go to.
It is stunningly easy to get exactly the photo I want from my camera to the web. I can't wait until I learn what this program can really do.
This image took about 2 minutes to get right. The colour is as I remember it, there's texture in the shadows, and the snow's not blown out. I even used the spot removal tool to get rid of a couple of annoying snowflakes, which wasn't possible in B4, and would have required PS/PSE. I have to agree with WS -- raw is now faster than jpegs.