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Go ahead and laugh - I use Ulead SmartSaver. Only because it's brainlessly easy and does a pretty fair job (including batch conversions) on .gifs, .jpegs, and .png's.
I also have DeBabelizer. But I don't use it.
But the algos in Image Ready are now rather awesome. Common scenario -- a layer of type over a photo. You know how sharp edged type attracts jpg artifacts, but the limitations of gif for photos are also rather daunting.
My "premier" solution has been to use absolute position and the z-index -- stacking a gif with transparency (for the type) over a jpg (for the photo). But you should see what a nice job IR does in preserving those sharp edges even with relatively high compression. In all but the most important spots, I'm now a convert to IR and one image.
I still don't use IR for gif compression. I've learned too much about gifs to yield control to any automation. But the jpeg format is mysterious to me, and IR handles it very well. It's just that I get better results letting the algo do its thing than when I try to protect sharp edges from artifacts using the selective compression mask feature.