Larry Cooper , Aug 05, 2008; 09:58 p.m.
I think Paint Shop Pro is the best deal, but that may be because I too tried GIMP and just didn't like it. GIMP's big advantage is that it is free. PSP is not free, but very reasonable, and does everything a photographer could want except handle 16 bit images for everything.
If you want to get really confused, have a look at Picture Window Pro. It is a VERY complete package for photographers with complete 16 bit capabilities. It is very under appreciated in my opinion. It is the editor I turn to first.
Both PSP and PWP are more capable of real photo editing than is Elements.