You've got Paint
When I first tried Paint.net a year or so back, I wasn’t that much impressed. It looked a bit heavy for small feature set and fallen lightning years behind Photoshop. I tried to use it, but soon it ended up in the dusty corner of my toolbox. Right next to the Santa costume and DOS 5.0 set. I was using Photoshop now and then for all my graphics needs and was mostly satisfied with experience, or may be just got used to it.
I gave Paint.net another try about a month ago – needed to edit a picture and did not have Photoshop on that computer, so I went and downloaded Paint.net 3.0 – it is free and open source. And this time around I was pleasantly surprised, it really grew up. There are lots more features you get out of the box, but what is more important, it started show real strength that open source can provide to the project. It became a platform other people started to build there own features on top of. And it is spreading like a fire. There are many plug-ins available, and if you can’t find one you need… you can write your own in C#! In fact, it is very similar to the BlogEngine extensions – each plug-in is a simple C# class that must inherit from the base and thus get access to Paint objects and events. Look at the picture with water reflection effect applied -this is done by using one of many plug-ins written by community.
I still occasionally load all mighty Photoshop to layout web graphics, but Paint.net becomes increasingly competitive and I think it might come a day when I finally pull the plug on Photoshop completely. It is that good.