For example, who would you want to hire or work with...someone who only knows how to use one tool (for example, EnCase), or someone who can explain how EnCase does what it does (such as file signature analysis) and can come up with solutions for the problems and challenges that we all run into?
What I've decided to do is compile a list of free (as in "beer") resources that can be used by schools and individuals to develop labs, training exercises, etc., for the purposes of providing an educational background in the field of computer forensic analysis. With nothing more than a laptop and an Internet connection, anyone interested in computer forensics analysis can learn quite a lot without ever spending any $.
FTK Imager 2.5.3 (and Lite 2.5.1)
George M. Garner, Jr's FAU
dcfldd - Wiki
Image/File Integrity Verification
Lance's Forensic Practicals (#1 and #2) (no EnCase? Use FTK Imager to convert the .E0x files to dd format)
NIST Hacking Case
DFTT Tool Testing Images
HoneyNet Project Challenges
VMWare Appliances (FTK Imager will allow you to add these - most of which are *nix-based - as evidence items and create dd-format images)
TSK 2.51 (as of 10 Feb 2008...includes Windows versions of the tools, but not the Autopsy Forensic Browser - see the Wiki for how to use the tools)
NOTE: DFLabs is developing PTK, an alternative Sleuthkit interface, and they are reportedly working on a full Windows version, as well!
ProDiscover 4.9 Basic Edition
VDK & VDKWin
LiveView (ProDiscover Basic will allow you to create the necessary .vmdk file for a dd-format image)
Perl ('nuff said!!) - my answer for everything, it seems ;-)
MiTec Registry File Viewer - import Registry hive files
Rifiuti - INFO2 file parser
BinText - like strings, but better
Windows File Analyzer
AV and Related Tools
GriSoft AVG Free Edition anti-virus
McAfee Stinger - standalone tool to scan for specific malware
ThreatFire (requires live system, best when used w/ AV)
GMER Rootkit Detection (requires live system)
Packet Capture and Analysis
According to Claus at the GSD blog , Mozilla uses SQLite databases to store information, so if you're doing browser analysis, you may want to take a look at SQLite DB Browser, or SQLiteSpy. If you want to create your own databases in SQLite, check out SQLite Administrator. So, you can use these tools not only for analysis of the Mozilla files, but also with creating your own databases for use with other tools (ie, Perl).
Please keep in mind that this is just a list...and not an exhaustive one...of technical resources that are available. There are many, many other tools available.
Also, all of the technical tools and techniques are for naught if you (a) cannot follow a process, and (b) cannot document what you do.