ATF won't get you into trouble like CCleaner can. Wait a while before making the switch, and take plently of time to configure CCleaner before running it blind. When I use ATF I do not select cookies-I use Opera to control them and keep only those I want. I also do not have ATF always
clean my prefetch. Rebuilding prefetch means slower loading apps for a while. (though it fractionally improves boot)
Now the bad news. (Which is really the good news!)There is no magic bullet!
There are plenty of apps that claim to do the job, but they don't. And can't really. A good rule of thumb is: The more they make it sound like the ultimate final answer, the more likely it is snake oil.
Why is it good news? Cause you can do a better job of it yourself. It just takes a little (gulp) learning.
And it turns out to be fun.
Read all the pinned posts in the forum. Apply what you can as you can.
Take it a step at a time, and build on what you've learned.
I suggest that you attempt no changes except to your own personal user account. That way, if things go 'horribly awry' you can create a new account and start over quite easily.
My philosophy is: Simple is best. Many things can be 'automated,' but often that makes them quite complex. Most of my procedures are done manually. That way things don't get out of control. I avoid "Suites" in applications, and use a different program for each function. Much easier to troubleshoot that way.
I have posted a good 'getting started under the hood' guide on Vox: http://doc1101.vox.com/
it has web addresses of useful tools and informational sites. The 'links' are not 'live.' Copy and paste the URLs to your browser address bar to view the referenced pages.
One more thing. Avoid Registry 'cleaners.' I have never read a post in which anyone reported any problem being corrected by such an application. I have read many, many posts in which using a Registry cleaner started a serious problem. There are circumstances under which using a Registry tool is warranted. "Cleaning" is not one of them.
If you have specific issues with your system feel free to post back with them, and we will help get things sorted. Let us know how you are progressing. OH! And Welcome aboard futuregeek!
Good to have another shoulder at the wheel.