For a long time, I've not felt comfortable with adjusting areas of photos using masks. I felt I had to understand the process a lot better before I started using it. As far as I knew, I had to paint with black and it would show up pink to show what I did NOT want to change, I had to create a new layer, click on a button I could never remember the location of, and do it all in the right order! Ugh. I'd try it, get frustrated and not want to try it again for a while.
In CS5, the creation of an adjustment layer is automatic. It isn't a separate process. I was just dinking around with a graphic while I watched Dave Cross as he demonstrated the difference between selections and masks. I got it. They made it so easy that even I can do it. I can now create an adjustment layer and mask the area I don't want to have adjusted.
People often tell me that they are 'just fine' with an older version of an application. But when the new version makes tasks that you didn't want to tackle into something easy, I can't understand not updating.