If you're looking for an application that does everything you wish for creating icons, then IconBuilder is the application you're looking for: it saves icons in all possible formats, comes with great documentation, GUI is nice to look at an user friendly, easy to implement in a workflow, stable, great website, good support, great community, etc.
I been using it several years to make all my icons and couldn't live without it.
As Luther mentioned, the first steps are not easy. You have to know the different icon formats to make the right icon. Beginners want to create quickly without reading a manual. So, if you only make icons once in a while and just for your self, then yes there are easier tools available and you should avoid IconBuilder at all costs. Those tools will mostly let you save your icons in 1 or 2 formats and avoid trouble by giving you only a few features.
But! If you're serious about icons and you don't want to be limited then there is only one, IconBuilder, no other app does what IconBuilder can. Professional icon makers have NO choice, if they want to be called professional that is. The combination of Photoshop & IconBuilder has brought me to 'Icon Nirvana', and it's good living there.
About the price:
I'm split in 2 on this one. As a non professional icon maker I would like IconBuilder to be cheaper. $79 is too much for me and most people, free would be good :)
But for the creation needs that I have, no single app can fulfill them, except IconBuilder. Unless I buy several apps that would complement each other, but that would be tedious to work with and make a it hard to implement in a work flow. Also, you must know that there businesses that depends on this little gem. From this point of view, IconBuilder is quite cheap.
It all comes down on how frequently you make icons and which are your targets.
If it's only 1 icon in a year and only for 1 platform, then there are much cheaper and easier tools that will do the job and give you a satisfactory result.
As a professional, you have no choice, this is the one, the only one.