Adam's right, Illustrator kills Photoshop for design development. But it's still not so hot for a developer just looking to slice and dice.
The best solution is to stay out of it.
Ask the team developing the design in Photoshop (or whatever) to export the graphic assets and provide general CSS instructions for all the other design details like standard colors/gradients and type settings that will be handled without graphics. If they don't know how to do that properly, you need new designers.
In the oft encountered imperfect world, you'll have to find a fallback.
If you're literally just slicing things for export, I'd recommend GIMP. Not because it's easier than P'shop (it's not) but it is free. That goes a long way toward easing the pain of not using the whole tool.
If you have to dig around in the layers and flip things on and off to get to the assets you need, I'm afraid you're stuck with P'shop. In that case, you could try requesting an export of the full PSD with extraneous layers turned off. Then you can get to the required background elements and stick with just a slice and dice approach.