willybfriendly - 5:40 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Gimp is great for working with images. It is, in my opinion, not so great for creating images.
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics program. Kind of clunky in my limited experience.
Xara makes some reasonably priced vector graphics programs - below $100 I believe - and relatively easy for those of us lacking time or commitment to become expert graphic designers.