A change of pace here. Adobe just released Photoshop CS5 and their new Content-Aware Fill takes digital retouching to a new level. Is there an annoying person or object in the background of your picture? Simply lasso the object you want to remove, select the Content-Aware Fill option, and let the program work its magic.
There are dozens of other nifty features, but this one looks like the killer app.
Photoshop CS5 is $699 for the new program and $599 for an upgrade from previous versions.