Well since reading "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh I have come to realise that keywording is not just for pros. It can give real benefits to anyone who has a lot of images to manage.
As part of my current workflow I have Downloader Pro set up so that every time I download from a card it prompts me for keywords. I usually enter the location and the event only, all the shots downloaded from that card are then tagged with that information (also known as metadata).
When I move the shots to my archive system I just add extra tags for any people in a particular shot. I also rate mark shots for later use in my web galleries with a star rating. The keywording of A single months worth of shots takes about 10 minutes using iview media pro.
This makes image retrieval significantly easier, as generally I am looking for a person or a place. The advantage over a structured file system is that you can have multiple keywords whereas the file can only be in one place.
Files are actually stored by date and type in a Year/Month/Day/Type directory structure where type is either raw,tiff or webready.
My initial thoughts about Adobe Lightroom is that it may actually remove the need to store different versions of the same file due to its sophisticated print options & stacks, more playing may confirm this. The Keywording facilities of Lightroom seem reasonably comprehensive so far..which is nice.
The image download system on Lightroom is highly configurable and (almost) meets my needs and could possibly make Downloader Pro redundant.
I am not completely happy with the workflow Lightroom seems to want me to work with though. It seems to be based around a single library and I prefer my current setup of a "working" and an "archive" library. Though it is early days yet so maybe I will find a way to implement this structure within Lightroom.