Photoshop ain't free. I work for cheap. Free is better, but sometimes I am limited on options so I search for programs that make up the difference. I usually have about three of four windows open at a time. That's the penalty and inconvienance of freeware.
The ability of making good pictures isnt about the program. Its about who is using the program. You can create masterpieces with paint. If you handle it. If you dont have ability to do it, or any graphic eye, any program aint going to help.