i use lightroom which is also an adobe product aimed specifically at photography. you can't manipulate a photo to the extent that you could in photoshop, but if it could be dreamt up in the darkroom, it can be done in lightroom. love love lightroom.
so basically, first i crop, then crank up the contrast, and tweak the exposure. i tone by messing with the color channels. more messing with highlights and darks etc. finally i do some post cropping vignetting.
in lightroom, this all takes me around 15 or 20 minutes if i know what i want. but i've spent hours on some shots and then just thrown them away coz i hated them lol. so, if i can't make it what i want in less than 30 minutes, the photo just want that goodd to begin with