Greetings, everyone!

I'm an amateur database developer (by virtue of being the "IT Guy" at work and my love of databases), and a bit of a FLOSS zealot. I've been using Access for well over 10 years, and have also tossed around some SQLite and PostgreSQL, the latter two only at home for websites and/or curiosity.

I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my database learning, and need to have some intelligent discussion, so I figured- what better place than a database forum.

Anyhow- I don't use Windows at home, but am pretty good at Access, so I am almost to the point of purchasing Windows and Access for myself and becoming better at it, perhaps to develop some databases for future customers, or simply to become better-versed in it. In my travels I noticed that there are a few new versions (we use Office 2007 and 2010 at work), and it seems that there are some changes in the Microsoft Office world. I'm seeing many opinions that Access 2013 isn't much of an improvement if the user isn't doing Web work, and am even less familiar with Office 365.

The problem comes when I do more digging into the proprietary world, and my stomach begins to get a little queasy. I'm used to installing a database, building it, and doing whatever I please with it, freely. The licensing, restricted use, etc., of the Windows World is exactly why I keep away from it at home. I do understand, though, that instead of fighting to find other ways of creating databases, I may serve myself and the world better by just purchasing the software and working with it, since much of my community is either completely unaware that FLOSS exists, or is very skeptical of it.

To circle around to the point: I guess that I have two questions- what would be the best version of Access for someone who has no use for web apps at this point, and is Access actually the best choice? I think one of the strongest selling points for Access is the runtime database distribution capability, and its reporting; however, I'm not an expert in other systems' (like PostgreSQL) reporting tools.

Thank you for whatever input you provide!
George R.