The Finder is and always has been the center of action on any Mac; however, in Mac OS X the Dock is its partner in crime. In the next chapter I'll cover the Dock, getting the most out of it, and using enhancements (and alternatives) to it.
P.S. If after reading this chapter, you're thinking "Wow, that was a lot of great info about the Finder!" check out the Online Bonus Chapter, "Furthering Finder Functionality." I'll show you how to get even more out of the Finder by adding menus, working with filenames, automating the things you do the most, and changing the overall appearance of Mac OS X. I'll also tell you how to fix a few of the most common Finder foibles.