GIMP 2.8 has been released - at least the Windows version - and it has some striking improvements. A full review is available at ars technica, or you can just download it for FREE and try it out for yourself.
For those who can't afford fancy post-processing software, GIMP is as good as you can get for FREE. New features in Version 2.8 include: "layer groups, a single window mode, canvas-based text editing ... and a layout overhaul to make the whole experience much easier and more user-friendly", at least according to PetaPixel. My early tests show there is much more improvement than that, and the good news is that 16-bit and 32-bit image processing with GEGL should also be available this year.
At 75Mb v2.8 is a bit heftier than 2.6, but it's still way lighter than Adobe Lightroom, PSE or CS6 ... especially on the pocket. Enjoy!