Layer effects is actually a specific category of non-destructive editing.
So what? They are features that are listed separately on the GIMP road map, which I cut/pasted into my post.
But hey.... if you want to continue to shell out hundreds of dollars every few years for an upgraded version of photoshop indefinitly, who am I to argue that you should keep your money?
I am more than happy to shell out hundreds of dollars every couple of years for a product that saves me scores of hours of work compared to a free alternative, and I'm just a hobbyist. If you're a pro, it's really a no-brainer.