You walk into the Linuxville guide office, the aroma of french fries wafts past your nose. It's a new manly sports party scent by Glade, ha ha! Also comes in pizza, chicken wing and nacho scents too.
I am caught up in the Linux graphics applications, mainly because they are free open source programs, but also because they are pretty darn good. GIMP is a wonderful app and the worst thing I heard about it is the multiple windows for tools and the drawing area. Here is how I get around the complaint:
The Linux desktop, Gnome in this case, is very flexible. So I want all you die-hard pixel-heads to de-res a little, let the desktop work for you. I hear a single windowed GIMP is in the works, I hope it is better. Some like a static never changing interface. I like options I can set and save. The config file has long been a Linux standard. I am surprised that the GIMP config is not an applet like what Tux Paint has. It would be cool to have several custom configs to change GIMP from a photo mangler to a draw and paint slinger or to match Photoshop or not, at will.
As you can guess, I try to avoid using the mainstream graphics applications that run only on Microsoft, but there are times when a little Wine gets you through the night. I do have a lite version of Photoshop which runs well in Wine. I tell myself that learning the Photoshop interface is a good thing. When and if I turn pro, that is, work at a job that requires Photoshop, I will at least be familiar and may not have to purchase it myself. I don't have to hold my breath though, there is Pixel. Pixel will probably be the Photoshop alternative that runs on Linux. It is not free and it does not require a personal loan to purchase. I have a trial version, it is so cool:
Do the Google search and check it out. I have not used it much yet so I can't speak for it. I think it is OK for Linux to have some applications which you pay for. Many high-end graphics applications that run in Linux are like this, like Maya. Pixel is reasonably priced and compared to Photoshop is cheap.
The real problem is that I can't use them all, get good at them all, hands-on time is required. I divide my time between job hunting, family and nerding. If you can do the time, you'll be fine. I am finding the limitations of using open source software is mostly about others using other things (so-called pro-ware). A lot of vocal folks do not actually spend the time to really use open source. Their bags are packed, why unpack to put it in new bags? The new bag, paper, plastic, rich Corinthian leather, whatever it is worth, you need to go where few dudes or dudettes have gone before, to Linuxville.