Building a site to handle images in Drupal

There are essentially two different ways to handle images in Drupal. The first way is to use the following modules:

The second approach is to use these modules:

The CCK approach would seem to be better as it provides integration with Views, allowing image nodes to be filtered and sorted using the metadata fields. CCK also allows the metadata fields to be administered using the admin interface, whereas my custom module has the extra fields hard-coded. However, the modules image_extra and image_gallery, which provide a lot of useful functions, only work with image nodes, not custom content_image nodes created using CCK.

I can't see a way out of this dilemma at the moment, so ended up using the first, non-CCK-based approach. I'm still worried, though, that this is going to lead to a lot of metadata trapped in not particularly accessible fields, reducing the usefulness of an accumulated database of images.