Well, I am not sure what your experience is with Gimp, but I would suggest that you have a look through the Tutorial section before writing it off completely. There are quite a few there dealing with Gimp and they all give you examples of what can be done with it. Some will shock you if you have already given up on it. for other software I would suggest that you look here for a listing of what is out there and people use to make their maps. I hope this helps.
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