jecasc - 8:57 pm on Nov 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
Gimp is free but not very easy and intuitively to use.
I never liked Photoshop - it's very powerful but the average webmaster does only need a fraction of the functions. Too bloated for my liking. It's like flying a space shuttle when all you have is a drivers license for a car.
I have been using Fireworks for years now and I think it's still the best tool for the average webmaster. It's not free but much cheaper than Photoshop and in my opinion much easier to use. I only live in constant fear that Adobe will abandon it one day, since they bought Fireworks from Macromedia a few years ago.
Here a good website comparing Fireworks and Photoshop. 50 reasons not to use photoshop for webdesign: