I have a definite preference for black and white images. And although Lightroom is very good at making quick conversions it doesn't have the same degree of customisation as say, Photoshop. It is however very quick and easy to make a decent conversion.
For this picture I used SilverFX Pro which really shines in that it can produce some fantastic conversions with the built-in presets but is also indecently easy to customise with a few control points. No need to do any fancy selections, just pop a few of these points on various elements and tweak the settings to your hearts content.
The Nik software suite used to cost $500 but has recently been acquired by Google and is now free and available here. Highly recommended.
Also highly recommended is the 27" iMac, I have just got one and it is a complete revelation both in terms of speed and screen resolution compared to my old MacBook. Just need a bigger desk now to allow me to sit far enough away from it!