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White Backgrounds for Professional Looking Product Photographs

I'm no expert, but then lots of us aren't so I thought I'd show you what I'm doing to produce the white backgrounds that we need for our product photographs. It's not perfect, so do please add your comments so that we can all improve.
I use Photoshop, so that might be the first stumbling block for some. I’m not an expert with Photoshop; it’s just that that’s what I’ve got!
This is all I do:
Open the file.
From the toolbar on the left, select the polygonal lasso tool. You need to go round the product using this tool – click on one point and then carefully go around the product, clicking wherever you need to change angle or direction. This anchors your line as you go round the object. I'm lucky with cards and pictures as there are lots of straight lines, but I don't envy jewellers or florists!
When you get back to where you started, your cursor symbol will have a little circle which completes the circuit. Just click to close the circuit.
From the toolbar at the top, choose the Select menu and then inverse. (Or right click on the file and select inverse)
Select fill from the Edit menu
In the window that pops up, for Contents use White, Blending is normal and opacity is 100%. Click ok and there you have your white background.
Not ideal as it removes all the shadows.
I've also used Fofofuse which is great for keeping the shadows; however I found a few drawbacks:
·         we have an incredibly slow broadband speed (well, we are in darkest Norfolk!) so doing a lot of photos at once is a labour of love
·         I also found that the quality of the photo was sometimes reduced during the process
·         You need to take the photo of the product on a white or black background
·         If you've got experience of Fotofuse, please do share your tips and advice here.
So here is the same photo edited both ways:
The original photo, taken with a compact point and click camera
Edited with Photoshop as described here (done in haste for this blog post!)
Edited using Fotofuze
What software and techniques do you use? Please do share here - it'll help us all to get better photographs and make more sales!