I'm hunting for a windows explorer replacement and want to get views on available tools. Looking for non-shareware.
Well, personally I like Windows Explorer as-is, however, on top of that, I don't know why you want to get rid of shareware because Total Commander is brilliant!
Apart from that I used Explorer XP in the past and liked it.
As for reviews, there isn't really one answer fits all, I like these tools but it depends how you want to use them - do you want something to make file operations easier, opening files better, picture gallery/viewer etc.
Another one to look at is Free Commander.
Whatever you choose, I recommend you test thoroughly inside a VM to make sure it works the way you want.
This wikipedia page should interest you...
But the more convenient I have used is not a replacement but a freeware explorer plugin: QTTabBar - It has all features I need and, as a plugin, doesn't break any shell feature