DP Review has an article about alternatives to Photoshop. Some have nice now prices and look interesting. What about Lightroom? Here’s a website that covers alternatives to other programs. Raw Therapee is mentioned.
For sure, there a lots more out there. A web search will help you find them.
What big advantages do Photoshop and Lightroom have? Well, they come bundled as an affordable monthly subscription (OK, OK, at the end of the year, it’s still a lot). The really nice thing, though, is that PS and LR have lots of online tutorials. There are plenty of add-on programs, too. (Google’s free NIK filters come to mind.) Best of all, the common language of photographic arts seems to have come from Adobe. If you specialize in other tools, then you may miss out in a conversation…but, money is money.
Some programs run on Windows PC’s, some run on Macs, and some on Linux PC’s. The really cool ones run on all three.
Feel free to add comments about your own favorites, be they Adobe or other.