I like using Photoshop too, but only because its what Im familiar with. I tried using Gimp before, but to me it just seems backwards. I'd have to rewire my mind on how a paint program should function if I ever got really into it. I like working fast so anything that slows me up is a minus
For spriting I find Graphics Gale to be superior though, easy to use and free which is a plus.
There's this other program, called Illust studio, that does everything I wish Photoshop could do. I've been dying to use it but its not in English...
And I love Blender. I think its eons ahead of other professional 3d packages because of the dedication going into it from the blender community. Every few monthes there's some new amazing feature added to it.