and given time, those who are sufficiently motivated to explore will get over it with the gimp.
I'm motivated enough to try anything that works well and reasonably intuitive. This is something that Gimp is not. I don't get on well with Photoshop either but at least it has some bloody straight forward drawing tools. I've never used a piece of software that is so difficult to draw with, deselect objects, manage layers and create gradients quickly. I use Paint Shop Pro for almost all graphical work. I'm not a professional designer or anything and only use Photoshop when I can get a decent tutorial to create effects.
Some people just need to create some graphics. Most Linux packages are vector stuff or photo editors. Deluxe Paint was one of the best packages for creating graphics from scratch. Paint Shop Pro is the next best up-to-date software. I think Ubuntu was right to drop this. But there is no good alternative either so maybe Linux is not ready for serious users. For real pros right at the top there are some excellent animation apps and related graphics software but other than that there are no good graphics packages for the average user.... something that Ubuntu aims for.
I develop on Ubuntu six days a week for both desktop apps and web. So, because I don't use Gimp I can't possibly be a serious user??? I think we need some better core applications on Linux.