Not deliberately necromancing this thread, but for some reason when I looked, this thread was flagged up as today's latest and I got interested in it, and thought I had something to add.
(Perhaps I entered the Twilight Zone, cos now it is today's latest. )
I've used MS Paint for a long time for pretty similar reasons - my artistic talents approach zero, it's all I had on my computer, and it's free.
I, too, figured there was no point getting new software that would have loads of stuff I couldn't use obscuring stuff I could use if only I could find it under all the clutter. I wanted MS Paint plus a little bit, and I, too, had a list of 'fixes', top of the list being negative zoom.
However, I recently got Gimp and I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to pick it up, even without an integral help file (which still won't load )
I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about how difficult it is to use, but that isn't my experience. I found it quite possible to use the basics and ignore the rest.
My conclusion is that either the scare stories are wrong, or the latest version of the software is much easier to use than earlier versions.
If it's the latter, then a new download of Gimp might just give you a drawing program that will improve your skills - as it has with mine.
Take a look at this thread to see my first attempt.
Setting Gimp on the throne