Thanks for your reply. I get your point (I actually have InDesign on an older G4 & love it) but perhaps I didn't state my question well enough to really get at the heart of my inquiry. Please allow me to try again.
Restated: can Aperture be trusted to do book layout well enough to be a reasonable alternative to InDesign, especially considering the major difference in price point?
Alternatively, does InDesign provide enough of a performance upgrade over Aperture to justify the huge price increase?
I just bought a new iMac 27" and am having an internal debate about whether I should purchase the very expensive CS3 suite. Alternatively, can I get away with using Aperture (at least n the short run)... until the project gets off the ground and begins bringing in some revenue?
What do you need in your books? Do you need graphics compositing, layers, inpainting? Then Aperture will not suffice. It deals more with photos than with graphics.
Also, Aperture will not create books with a table of contents, index, section numbers, etc. You may want to have a look at the free iBook Author for creating books. iBook Author integrates well with Aperture.
Are you just doing books? Are you using images only from a camera?
If either of those is no I don;t think Aperture would be right for you. Aperture can only do books and is intended primarily as a digital negative developer.
Also bear in mind that Aperture's book designs are limited. While it is possible to go in and make your own templates it's again not want the program is designed for.
I haven't used inDesign (but did do some work way back when with PageMaker, inDesigns predecessor) and honestly can't imagine substituting one for the other.
Perhaps more info about your project might help. My biggest questions are as stated above, are you dealing primarily in digital camera images and are you only doing books. Is this for you or are you doing this for clients?
Frank, thank you for your reply *** well. Given the weight of all the well-thoughtout comments I believe you all have essentially answered my question. For that I am grateful.
FWIW, I do indeed need to perform graphics work. So sadly it seems that Aperture (at least as a stand-alone solution) is not the best fit for my project).
That said, it seems I have three paths from which to choose: (1) Couple iBook Author with Aperture & see how well using the two in concert works out; (2) Bite the bullet & purchase the extremely awesome but also extremely expensive CS3 Suite; or (3) I could conceivably continue using my old computer to do all my graphics work in InDesign and delay purchasing CS3 for my new computer until such time as the magazine begins booking some revenue.
You guys are awesome!!! Your comments definitely helped me think through the problem and arrive at a more enlightened approach. Thank you sooo much.