A bit late but still worth a post, Microsoft has announced (in April 2009) that Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 is now free!
Go over to SharePoint Designer 2007 Download to get your free copy.
For those who don’t know much about SharePoint Designer, here is an excerpt from Microsoft:
Build solutions faster to enhance team productivity and efficiency
Use Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to create and deploy interactive solutions on the SharePoint platform, without having to write code.
- Automate business processes such as document approval, custom event notification, and other collaboration tasks with the Workflow Designer.
- Create reporting and tracking applications using data views and forms to easily gather and aggregate data from outside your site and from SharePoint lists and document libraries on the Web site.
- Get started fast with pre-built Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Application Templates, which are fully customizable and extensible using Office SharePoint Designer 2007.
- Extend your solutions by building advanced interactive Microsoft ASP.NET pages. Insert and edit controls with the same powerful activity menus and control property grid previously found only in development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.
The Workflow Designer automates business processes like automated task assignment and notification associated with SharePoint lists and document libraries by setting up custom workflow conditions and actions and linking them to the SharePoint data.
Design compelling SharePoint sites tailored to your organization’s needs
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the professional-quality design tools you need to create great-looking SharePoint pages that are compatible with a wide range of browsers. Enjoy an intuitive design experience through a high-quality what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor, format SharePoint pages quickly using cascading style sheet (CSS) tools, and easily change the layout and format of your site through full support of ASP.NET master pages.
Manage your master pages with professional-quality design tools that enable you to easily manage styles, layout, and format.
Site administrators and IT managers: maintain control of your sites
Site administrators and IT managers can control exactly how Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is used to help ensure information workers have a managed and controlled experience. Set up Contributor Settings for each user role defined in your SharePoint site, and control access to specific actions such as making changes to your master pages and CSS. Specify how pages, files, and folders can be used, quickly roll back changes across your site, and help ensure that your site is properly managed and audited for browser compatibility and Web accessibility.
Use the Contributor Settings dialog to manage Contributor Groups, Editable Regions, and more.
I first used the software when i was trying to get my head around workflows in Windows Sharepoint Services 3 and i can say that it is very handy.