Some years ago, in a misguided attempt to make finding photos “easier” for my wife, I poured all our photos into iPhoto. It’s slow, bloated, and generally a piece of shit that I regret ever having anything to do with.
I get the sense that photo management is starting down the same path that text walked a couple of years ago. Text files are simple, multi-platform, and they’ll be supported into the future (much like a hierarchy of nested folders).
Dr. Drang even provides some Python scripts in this post to help you organize your photos using a simple folder structure.