Starting this off I can report that I have taken my "troubled" lens in for it's latest round of repairs. Hopefully this time it should be simple and quick as it appears that it is a spring that became disconnected and not lubricant leaking onto the aperture blades.
The next bit of news is more a change of mind-set in how I process my digital files after I have taken the photos. Where possible I am trying to abide by the rule of "do it right in the camera" and not in the computer. While I like working with digital files in Photoshop type software. I much prefer being behind my camera taking the photos and have grown tired of spending so much time sat at a computer. To this end I am pretty much limiting myself to using Lightroom to process the RAW files from my camera and carrying out minor image corrections/tweaks. I am not at this time prepared to forgo the use of RAW and shooting entirely in JPG's as I still prefer the flexibility and adjustability of RAW files.