We have over 19,000 digital pictures.
Import frequently! I upload the pictures from my camera to my computer after every "big" event and, at the very least, once a month.
I delete the icky pictures immediately and I turn the remaining pictures the correct way.
Then, once a month, I spend a few minutes correcting red eyes and doing other editing tasks.
I have a Mac and use iPhoto. I don't need to save or date anything. All pictures are automatically saved by date and I can rename the "event" to whatever I want or just leave it as the date. I don't have to do a lot on the organizing side of things because iPhoto does all that for me. Saving is done every time I leave the program, for example.
I back up my laptop to an external hard drive once a week. We also refresh our computers completely once a year and those copies are sent to my DH's parents' home in another state. I don't have to burn CDs to have our pictures protected.
As for what to do with pictures, I do a combination of several different things.
1. I am a scrapbooker. I scrapbook all of our physical photographs from before we went digital. I was an amateur photographer in high school with a fancy camera, so I have a LOT of photographs!!! I also scrapbook mini albums from digital pics whenever the mood strikes.
2. I make use of iPhoto features, such as events and albums. Then, I set those up to be my computer backgrounds (changing every time I open my laptop) and my screen saver. I also share pictures with friends and family via facebook and email and digital photo frames and other electronic means.
3. I am in the midst of making my first photo book FOR US of our DD's preschool year. I have made a few of these as gifts and the recipients LOVE them! I plan to do the photo books for each school year. I scan in the art work and any paperwork of value and recycle the originals. This cuts down on the clutter dramatically!
4. I love to scrapbook, so I plan to do a mix from our digital pictures. I just haven't decided the exact nature of that mix. I really want to get all the non-digital photographs finished first, so I am taking care to keep up with the digital pics now. That way it'll be easy once I decide. The non-digital stuff is already in chronological order and is organized by year (one year per envelope for memorabilia and all the photographs are in chronological order in two large photo boxes with notes).
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa