I agree that many things could perhaps be more intuitive than they are in photoshop, however I have been using PS since early 1994. I first used 2.0 I believe I then went directly to 3.0 shortly there after. I hated them at the time as it was a bit of a learning curve but I loved the addition of layers. My computer at the time was so painfully slow though that it was of limited professional use and I still did most things manually until I got a tablet. I used 3.0 with a tablet and I have been using various tablets and cintiqs ever since. I think I breifly used 1.0 on my bosses older system at one point, I just remeber it bieing simple. Over the years I was extreemly happy to use PS and was even more excited when they became more robust, versatile, and we had equally robust and amazing tablets. I was an illustrator for years before I did anything else.
Over the years I have come to love PS, yeah sometimes there is a harsh learning curve with many tasks but honestly having used the following versions for profesional work- 2.0, 3.0, 5.0 tons, 7.0, CS and CS2 tons, CS3, CS4 tons, and a tiny bit with CS5. I think considering the power and comlexity of what they can do using a little bit extra brain juice from time to time is ok. Having used a number of other similar products over the years I can safely say that I truly can't stand most of them. A special note Regarding Gimp: I tried it for a few months before I decided that slitting my wrists was uncomfortable. I gave that program a damn good go and I have hated and regretted few things more.
The more you learn about photoshop the more odd some things seem but most things make much, much more sense and simple without learning specific tasks. I have never regretted the money I have spent on photoshop. I also found out many years ago that the more you learn about raster and vector capabilites the more clear many things become in photoshop. I do consider it a professional tool and as such a siginificant amount of adjustment and learning is probably needed. It needs some serious seat time to manipulate it in all the ways you want. I think its more user friendly now than it ever has been and much, much faster. I think it could be better certainly but I think in general few programs can touch it for usefullness and simplicity. Again though, I have used it to make a living for many years so I am sure that must warp my view. With the intertooobsNwebs being as silly vast as they are now help is usually a search and click away. Hooooray for that! Speeds up that learning curve and lessens painful seat time.
I think I feel the same way about Microsoft Word as you do Photoshop.
I am staying with CS4 and Painter 11 for a while though since I like them a good bit and don't have a huge need to switch it up. I just wish other programs were less glitchy compared to PS. Programs and equipment are usually way more capable and useful than we ever give them credit for.
I am pretty sure you can do that though, unless you meant while using Gimp.