Ugly truth: Photoshop takes so long to launch that I’ll sometimes defer doing small graphics jobs that need doing just to avoid sitting there staring at the splash screen. Funny how 60 seconds can seem like an eternity in the middle of a fast-paced work day. 90% of the time, 90% of people are doing everyday tasks that don’t require all of Photoshop’s functionality — and all of its bloat. The LE version is stripped down (don’t know what it’s launch times are like), but there’s an aching need out there for an elegant, fast, affordable but highly functional image editor for the Mac that basically works like Photoshop.
Pixelmator is exactly that. The UI is at once radically different and totally familiar. For me, there was no learning curve at all – just grab it and go. And the 3-second launch is barely noticeable. The one thing I use constantly in Photoshop that’s missing in Pixelmator is the Save for Web feature, which lets you compare multiple compression levels and their relative file sizes during the save operation. Other than that, I can see getting comfy with Pixelmator real quick.