Investing in Yourself
Photoshop CS4 is $699. That’s about the price of an intermediate-level guitar. If you were even semi-serious about playing the guitar, you probably have one that is worth at least that. Yes, Adobe software is a bit expensive, especially when looked at relative to most other software pricing. But it’s the premier product for design. Despite it’s shortcomings, for love or money there isn’t a better product.
I just can’t imagine having design being your career or a serious hobby and not being able to invest that much into the tools of the trade. It’s investing in yourself. It’s like if you wanted to be a great bass player but you weren’t willing to actually buy a bass, so you just used a washtub, broom handle, and twine.