Usually I don't have to do graphical design so I'm not familiar with the common design applications like Photoshop, Gimp and the like. But every once in a while I do have the need to draw something that looks cool and makes a professional impression. Learning Photoshop just for these rare occasions isn't worth the effort, at least not for me.
Browsing for graphical design tools I happened to find Xara Designer Pro (see http://www.xara.com/us/products/designer). The price seemed fair enough for me so I bought it. Comments of other users and tutorial videos on Youtube stated that it was pretty easy to learn but still very powerful.
I have to say that I am very happy with the product. It is incredibly fast and is indeed easy to learn. It has all the standard graphic features you need and you can do almost everything with it. Definitely worth to have a look.
Here are a few helpful links:
or simply search Youtube for "xara designer"