Alternative to Quickbooks?

I am self-employed and need to upgrade from a ledger accounting system to a software-based system. I assumed Quickbooks was what I needed, but when I read the customer reviews at Amazon, I began to have second thoughts. Can anybody recommend an accounting software alternative, or give a review of your own experience with Quickbooks? I have little or no accounting experience, I am the only employee in my business, and I need to track information about customer accounts in a service-oriented business.

I think scale-wise Best Software’s “Peachtree” is comparable, as well as MYOB (Mind Your Own Business). They seem to have the same functionality, and you do have to have some understanding of accounting concepts in order to use them effectively.

By the way, in my previous life, I worked with a lot of small businesses that used QuickBooks (my program linked to QB), so they must be doing something right…?