I will pretty much always go for the cheap item (yarn or fiber) over the delicious, but expensive merino/silk handpaint (of which I know I've bought, but it's my one weakness, I swear). Within reason- I won't buy Ingeo or polyester no matter how cheap- I aim less for quantity over quality (unless- miracle of miracles- there's both at a good price). I'm a bargain whore.
What am I getting at? No, no; it's not just that I like talking about myself (though I do).
I've found Fleegle's Blog, where she is currently summing up all the knitting software and pattern-writing programs, and discussing the pros and cons of each, and a basic rundown of how they work and are used. Someone in the market for good software would be able to determine which to choose, depending on their needs.
Back to me being cheap: Fleegle is on entry #3, and I have to say, I was totally won over by the free knitting symbol fonts that you can use in Excel. See? Cheap and good quality.