Sometimes you can go on ebay and get a slightl older copy of Photoshop for a little less. I have Photoshop 7.0. I have seen it for sale on ebay, 7.0 is still pretty expensive. However, you might be able to pick up Photoshop 5 or 6 for a halfway decent price.
From what I've seen, you can do a lot with Photoshop Elements, and that's way cheaper than even an older version of Photoshop.
By the way, pretty soon my Photoshop 7.0 will become a thing of the past for me, as I know I'm getting CS2 for my Birthday. Yeah!!!!