If you really want to get into this subject then use Photoshop 7 or greater. Its a long learning curve but its the BEST if you want to do good enhancements of D.Images. Version 7 ( I use it) covers about 80% of CS, and should keep you going for a couple of years. V7 should be at a much lower price that CS. David
It always surprises me that people rate PS Elements so highly when it is considerably out-specced (and matched for performance) by PhotoImpact at half the cost. I suppose that it's the only app that most people have actually used.
PSP X2 is not bad -- I use it in conjunction with PhotoImpact and the professional Corel graphics/drawing products, simply because there are a couple of functions that it does particularly well.
Even the GIMP is an acceptable option if you don't want to spend anything.
Kemistri. You are probably right if you want to do limited improvements. However if you want, eventually, to learn to use Photoshop CS2 (Industry standard) then it may be useful to make a start with Elements. One seems to have so many photo manipulation programmes - I got one with a Canon scanner, another with Roxio 10 (bought for other reasons), another with a camera, etc. In the end it is a personal preference.
"You are probably right if you want to do limited improvements."
You may have misunderstood my opinion. PI beats PS Elements to the point at which CS3 is rendered totally unnecessary for most users bar professionals and seriously picky enthusiasts with deep pockets. I know CS3 very well, but I see no reason to invest in it -- despite making a large part of my living from graphics and images -- because PI is such a powerful and extensive app.