Bloated, overpriced.... Seriously?
If you don't use Photoshop for over ten hours a week in a situation that is actually generating you or your business an actual income, you probably shouldn't be using Photoshop. Use The Gimp or PaintShop Pro or even PhotoShop ESSENTIALS.
First, let's start with the fact that Photoshop CS1-4 are Adobe's progress at integrating it with the rest of the Creative Suite. If you aren't doing print/design, web development or commercial photo retouching (or fantasy montages), well then, you probably really don't need Photoshop Professional CS4.
I put in15+ hours per week of billable work in Photoshop a week. A lot of it is outlining objects, but that's to achieve effects and results a PS wanabee never could achieve or even attempt.
I love that the early user & developers were into the "Calculations" ability of the software. That is one of the single most useful aspect of the software still. First you have to know what a color channel is, then yo have to figure out how those channel interact. I can fine-tune an images colors by selectively enhancing or eliminating a color range that way. Read up, I don't want to bore you.
Okay, did I just go too far for you "bloatware", "overpriced" commentators who think that just having the software loaded on you PC somehow makes you an expert or if you took a few classes, but were overwhelmed, you have a right to put PS down.
Let's see. I work with PS CS3 right now 15 hours per week and we bill $150/hr. for my services to clients. At 48 work weeks that's $108,000 per year. Not bad for a $600 investment, plus my personal annual income.
Plus I keep my home licenses up-to-date and can justify the cost by work done late at night and on weekends to KEEP my job (and to be at home), plus the occasional freelance projects.
The software INVESTMENT pays for itself if you ACTUALLY use it to make money.. But then again, I'm also quite good at Illustrator and InDesign as well and you can't just use one without the other two, can you?
Finally, I find it funny how Photoshop runs so much better in Windows than it does on the Mac OS X. The NT kernel gave Adobe a better (Multi-core, multi-threaded,etc.) platform. Then Apple introduced OSX before A obe was ready to release it's unifying Creative Suite 1. That meant Adobe would have had to develop 2 versions of the software. Adobe just held off for a year to release OSX applications, and that's where the Adobe vs. Apple fued began.
So after 20 years we have the collapse of early graphics applications and companies. Fortunately Adobe so far keeps acting like a company that still has some sort of competition and sticks to new innovative releases every 18 months.