I finally decided to download and learn to use the industry-standard PCB and schematic layout software: Eagle. I’ve tried a bunch of others, and quite frankly, got tired of always using “also ran” software. The majority of the info on the web is for Eagle. It certainly doesn’t have the best UI or the best workflow, but it has absolutely the most amount of information and the best support from PCB manufacturers. It’s the industry standard, and like most industry-leading technical software (ever use industry-leading 3d modeling software? Gak!), it has some crazy issues.
We’d suggest that Eagle is more a hobbyist and open hardware standard, with much more expensive software dominating most pro design shops. We stick with Eagle for exactly the same reasons though. Most people have it, and there’s a ton of documentation out there for it. We’d prefer an open program like KiCAD, but it’s not going to appeal to as many people.
Don’t let the file format dictate your choice though. Every PCB manufacturer worth using supports Gerbers, and every CAD program worth using should have a way to export them.