As part of what I do, I recommend painting packages to people I work with who have to dress up photographs for their websites. Basic features like brightness, contrast, saturation, cropping etc… anyway as part of that I tend to keep an eye open for free or cheap packages.
Personally I use Photoshop so I’m pretty hard to please but I’ve made Faststone image viewer my staple for quickly updating images… well, until now. I’ve been following some FLASH-based packages for a while now and finally one of them looks like it’s come up trumps.
SumoPaint has now come out of BETA and I have to say, it makes you wonder why you would want to spend a fortune on some of the alternatives. Layers, a boatload of effects and FREE make this a winner – though I can’t find arbitrary ROTATE which could be an issue. Anyway – go over there and have a look. It could save you some money and time.