There's a microsoft addin for office that allows saving to PDF (Adobe won't "license" them to do it out-of-the-box).
CutePDF is fairly lightweight and the price is right.
I'm currently using PDF-Xchange (happy so far).
Acrobat is expensive if you want to do electronic signatures ($400 per seat, IIRC). Just about anything else can be accomplished using cheaper alternatives.
Most of the non-Adobe applications are smaller & faster than Acrobat. If you're doing production/press work, you probably want to stick with the Adobe software - simply for the compatibility/support aspect.
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