Grayscale conversion of digitally captured images

I've started mucking about with converting color digital images into grayscale black and white images.  So far, I'm not a fan.  Seems you do 10x more work for an image that doesn't quite rival a black and white scan.  Could be me, since I've seen some very impressive black and white images that were captured digitally.  Please check out the "grayscale" and "Nettie" sections and let me know what you think.