ACDSee, Photoshop, PhotoImpressions, FilmFactory, PaintShop
Ok! so as you can see, I use plenty, or I should say, I have plenty on my PC.
My Photoshop is outdated but heck I bought it years ago and I really don't feel like dumping more money into a newer version. It's bloated with features, and sure enough it does the best job, when I can actually find the feature I need. I use it as little as possible but when it comes to raw performance (meaning when I need to take a crappy, unclear pic and turn it into a work of art) it's pretty much the only one that can do the job. It unfortunately means I will be sitting at the PC for hours, but heck, sometimes pictures are worth saving. It does take some time though to know where you're going and what everything does. After years of service, I have yet to use all the features and I still sometimes need to look twice to find the obscure feature I want. Just so you know.
I have had to use Corel PaintShop Pro at work, and found it of equal quality as Photoshop, the interface is a little less bloated and I found the tools a little more intuitive, but all in all, it does a great job for those who want to do a lot to their pictures. It's also bloated with features, so if you wanna use them all, prepare yourself for a lot of reading, trial and error and also some time trying to find the feature you want. It does offer however the features you use most in a readily available taskbar.
If what you're gonna do is just remove red eyes, cropping, correct colours and some other basic editing in your images, there are 2 softwares I favor: ACDSee and Photoimpressions.
I love my ACDSee and have bought 3 times already. You will need a pretty strong PC to run version 8 (forget it if you have an old PII, you're gonna spend too much time waiting for it to start up) but all in all, you can still go with older versions. Version 3 is still installed on my old PC and works wonders without the extras I get in version 8. The best extra, it also turns your machine into a powerful file manager. Need to rename 200 files in a simple step, it can do it for you. Select them, press <F2> and create the name structure and it does it automatically. Now there's a feature I have used for many years to rename party pics, numerous variants of a resume or whatever else. FForget about Windows Explorer for me, I do most of my bbrowsing in ACDSee as it offers all the same features and then some. To me, it's worth the price of purchase, albeit there were a few deceiving versions in the past. But as you get to try it free for a month, you can try it out and toss it out if you don't like it.
As for ARCSoft's Photoimpressions, it came with one of my printers, who can shun free software? Not me! So I had to try it out. I was suprised, by how easy it is to use. Ok, for the guy who's used to other software, it does need some learning, it's not as straightforward to me as ACDSee, but it gets the job done... and to some, it may be more straightforward. It's dedication to photo editing, means it's got no extras, you can colour correct, remove red eyes, add text... but I find editing multiple pictures a proverbial pain, as you have to close each pic before moving to another, or you'll soon have 15 tiles in your main window. It took me a while to remember this, but as it's the only fault I could find it, I'd recommend it to anyone who's gonna simply edit the family party pics. As I said, it came free with one of my printers, so you can probably find it the same way.
Filmfactory came free with my latest picture printer, so another plus. Nonewithstanding the fact that it's very basic, remove red-eyes and color corrections are pretty much the only two features it has, this may suit your need. I wouldn't buy it, but I have the space on my drive and got it free so it's there, readily available for the next picture I only need some automatic correction for.
I read all the other posts and I guess I'm gonna be trying some new software. I may change my mind about some of mine, but for the time being, that's the best I can tell you. If you're gonna do some basic picture editing, go ACDSee or PhotoImpressions; for more advanced stuff, Photoshop is great for me, even with all it's flaws, try it out and see, it's available on the website as a trial. So all in all, find what suits you best, my combination is ACDSee and Photoshop: the first for basic easy stuff, the other to save that one pic I don't want to lose but where you can't tell if it's a racoon or a mountain on it.