textures in Cycles? help please!

hi everyone.
i wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be in the rendering forum or this one, so if i got it wrong, sorry :o
anyway, i am working on a character for a school project and want to use the Cycles rendering engine. i watched some tutorials on it, such as the ones by Andrew Price and others on the blender cookie sight, but i’m still having some issues.
first of all, i can’t get the normal or specular maps to show up at all, on any model, although defuse textures seem to be ok. i use the node editor to do this but it makes no visible difference in the actual render.
second, this particular character is a dragon (this is her https://www.dropbox.com/s/wg2ybi9ozniarpa/Crystal.jpghttps://www.dropbox.com/s/wg2ybi9ozniarpa/Crystal.jpg), and to make the scales and details in the eye (which are a bit hard to see in this pic), i used some generated textures. however can i get them to work in cycles. I can’t get the scales to show up in the normal bake. they’re there, but they’re very faint.

Can you please upload some screenshots of your node editor… much easier to debug when we know what materials you are using.

Correct normal map application is like this

Note that the normal map has NON-COLOR data selected.

this is what i had it as before, and the result (the light in the scene is sitting right behind the camera)

but i have it set up like that now and its showing up like this: