As promised, I've played with the FotoFusion software quite a bit. After some time playing and some recommendations on other forums, I actually broke down and purchased it.
So far I LOVE IT. The interface is very easy to navigate and making a BEAUTIFUL book was FAST - even for a newbie. The Auto Collage feature is AWESOME - you can select any number of pictures and have them auto populate a page, with a number of adjustments to choose from. There are tons of papers, frames and clipart included, and apparently several more that can be purchased (I've not done that yet). I adore the fact that it has the ability to share a low res version of the book with a client directly through the program. Any editing done within the program to a picture is completely non-distructive - it does NOTHING to your original file - which in my world is a HUGE safety net.
Finally, I really like the number of options given for output. I can set the margins wherever I want and output to whatever format the publisher I chose wants. I fact I did this using Blurb's settings and have finished one book and have sent it off to them. We'll see what the printed copy looks like but I am SUPER excited.