Mac users are fortunate to have several good alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. One of them is Photoshop Elements!
I’ve downloaded Gimp several times and have always come away feeling, “Yuck!” Sure, it’s capable (and free), but why would you own a Mac to use something like that?! Just my opinion! :)
I have Graphic Converter (version 5 or so running under a virtualized “Snow Leopard”). It’s a handy tool to have at one’s disposal and it can manipulate files that other apps (including PS Elements) would choke on, but its GUI is awful, and for most people it’s not a real choice for an “everyday” photo editing app.
Acorn is a fine Mac app ( I have version 4.5.x) but it feels more like a paint app than a photo app.
That leaves Pixelmator. (I have version 3.3.) It is THE alternative to Photoshop (Elements or otherwise) for Mac users. The price is right, it is a true Mac app, and it’s powerful! (My only real complaint is the plethora of palettes that one has to deal with when using it.)
So Mac users these days have plenty of alternatives to Photoshop outside of Adobe, but that doesn’t make PS Elements a bad program, Adobe haters notwithstanding. Although I’m not a fan of the Adobe hegemony, Elements still remains my “go to” app for photo editing. It has a familiar UI, it packs some serious power, it’s feels snappy, it’s not neglected by its developer, it consistently ranks high when reviewed by independent publications, and there are a ton of books, magazines, and websites that provide tutorials and step-by-step guides for about any task that you would want to use it for.
I bought PS Elements version 1 on June 15th, 2001 and have been using various iterations of the program ever since. It’s ironic that the first decent, powerful, reasonably priced alternative to Adobe Photoshop, dating back to 2001, was produced by...uh...Adobe!
BTW, at the time of this comment (Thanksgiving weekend, 2014), you can/could download Elements 13 from Amazon for $49.00.