With iMac, I have shifted to Illustrator.
I have gone through few tutorials over the net. lynda
And few projects in graphics helped me to hang on the software quickly.
I must admit it is great software. Sometimes I compare it to Alias. It is more like bap of 2D. (bap = guru)
I came across another product from AstuteGraphics
They provide some amazing plugins for illustrator.
Many of them provide some superb functionality to imagination.
One of my favorite is vector halftone effect, which is part of Phantasm.
This could be useful for product design elements like grill design, texture, patterns, prints, etc.
I am adding few examples here.
Based on the gradient applied, halftone can be generated.
It can deliver halftone effect with the transitional size variations.
Even, you can select the shape of that single unit.
(see example 6: I have used moon shape in a halftone)
It can be easily transferred to 3D software for the product detailing.