I've used lots of different image editors including The Gimp, Paint.NET, Photoshop Elements 2 and the very expensive Photoshop CS2. But Elements 4 is my favourite by a long way. It's got a wonderfully easy interface (especially if you ignore its Organiser and just use Windows Explorer to put images in a sensible folder structure) and is quite quick on my humble half Gig XP PC, even with a dozen large images loaded (hint if you find it slow, go to Edit, Preferences, Memory and increase the max used value to 80%+). I find it pretty easy now to add someone to a group shot so you can't tell who was added (the camera often lies!) and can also make convincing panoramas from multiple shots. Perspective adjustment (for those inward leaning cathedrals etc) is a fancy tool which works very well. But it's all the basic image editing that is fabulous, especially when you start using keyboard shortcuts. The Quick fix collection is really useful, scanning, cropping and resizing easy, the levels histogram brings dull pictures to life and all the tools are beautifully crafted with full control over opacity etc.