I’ve recently become a convert to a RAW converter called Raw Therapee.
It’s not a “do everything” solution to RAW handling like Lightroom (it has no Digital Asset Management (DAM) database functionality) and it isn’t really a batch processor.
It is what it is – an excellent stand-alone RAW converter.
It has more than just RAW conversion to its name though – as I’ve mentioned here it has a lot of added-value functionality, chief among which (for me) is astoundingly effective highlght recovery.
It’s stable, quick (once you’ve learned what to expect – it sort of feels slow in some parts of the conversion proocess, but it isn’t really) and the quality of the output is just faultless as far as noise control (not noise reduction – I don’t use its built-in NR), colour, sharpness and detail are concerned.
There’s no down-side to RT that I can see, so I suggest that you give it a go, and – if you take to it half as enthusiastically as I have – send the author, Gabor, a few dollars: a $5 donation is a ridiculously small amount to pay for such a good converter.