I always used pse from version 2 through version 9. I sat on the fence about cc for a while and looked at some alternatives but finally pulled the trigger on cc when the photographer's cc deal came out. I can't say too much about lightroom yet as I really have only played around with it a little but having the full version of photoshop is like night and day over elements imo. I know many say there's not much difference but I feel there's a huge difference. The $10/month deal for cc is something you should seriously consider. Elements is a good basic editor but what you can do with the full photoshop will amaze you. I learn something new with it every day and have fun doing it. I love the retouching part of photography.