The GIMP community has today announced the release of GIMP 2.6.2, the second bug-fix release for GIMP 2.6, which brought a number of changes including GEGL (the Generic Graphics Library) and user interface improvements. Among the bugs fixed in GIMP 2.6.2 include improving the scaling speed, being unable to build GIMP on Solaris 2.8 with Sun CC, compatibility with GEGL newer than version 0.0.20, and other improvements...
Once GEGL is fully integrated, GIMP may once again rival Photoshop as an image editor for all but the most advanced users. It is truly the best FOSS image editor for most users, and perhaps one of the best image editors overall.
Even when you work in 8-bit per channel color space, it is possible to work far faster in Photoshop than in the Gnu Image Manipulation Program.
This isn't because of the ui, this is because of the limited feature set of the GIMP. Example: it is possible to create a decent looking concrete tile using an image with a duplicated layer rotated 90 degrees and the "blendif" function in Photoshop in roughly five minutes, for the same results in the GIMP you have to use layer masks to create the same effect which takes considerably longer for comparable results. The SIOX plugin promised to deliver the same functionality as the blendif function but failed miserably.