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Seeking recommendations on qualitative analysis software

I'm looking for information on preferred software applications to assist with qualitative data analysis. Specifically, I'm looking for software to help with the analysis of text from interview transcripts and other textual content.

So far, I have been able to find a few lists of applications:

* Digital Research Tools Wiki: Text Analysis Tools
* Qualitative Resources: Software

However, I've had little luck finding recommendations. One person recommended Textanz, which looks like an inexpensive option for keyword frequency counting. However, think that I might need some of the more sophisticated features available in other packages like Nvivo/Xsight (previously known as NUD*IST).

While some of the applications available in the lists above are available for free, most of what I (mistakenly?) assume are the better applications are not. Nvivo/Xsight, for example, would set me back just over $1000 USD (Nvivo on its own is around $600). A few years back when I was looking into software for my own research, NUD*IST was from what I remember the recommended software. But $1000 or even $600 is a lot of money, and I'm wondering if there isn't something else that is as-good/almost-as-good/better/cheaper.

If there is a qualitative data analysis software package that you use and/or would recommend, or if you know of sites that have reviewed these kinds of packages, please let me know.

Update: YF recommends AtlasTi, noting that Maxqda also looks interesting for its ability to generate conceptual maps. (Added Feb 26, 2009)

Update: KD shared the following additional resources pages: OpenNLP page and a list of indexing and concordance software applications. Neither appear to be for the faint-hearted, but then neither is qualitative research! (Added Feb 26, 2009)