PaintShop Pro 9 offered vector layers and raster layers, and it has been a handy tool for web design and drawing objects. While I'm somewhat proficient in it, the program has its limitations, and I'm thinking about moving to Photoshop. Are there any "gotchas" to be aware of, besides what could be a steep learning curve? Does experience in PaintShop Pro mitigate some of the learning curve? I would especially appreciate the perspective of those who have experience in both programs.
I'm more familiar with Photoshop than with PaintShop Pro, but here are some objective things:
Interface: It's a matter of habit and personal taste. Both let you customize the layout.
Color and Tone: Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro offer almost identical sets of adjustment commands. Both support adjustment layers (non-destructive correction method).
Retouching: Both have good tools, I personally prefer the options in photoshop.
Layers: Both support layers, the handling is different but the technique is similar.
Masks: In Photoshop, a mask always belongs to a layer; in Paint Shop Pro, masks are separate raster layers. However, the work principles and achieved results are very similar.
Transformations: Quite the same in both (transform, rotate, distort).
Automating tasks: Photoshop macro commands - "actions" - are a bit more stable, while Paint Shop Pro "scripts" are more flexible.
"Photoshop feels the strongest, Paint Shop Pro - the fastest" (source) "PSP is cheaper" (source) If you already know PSP, you will get PS in a day, functionality-wise you can do the same things. Your curve will be a straight line, and there are plenty of tutorials to help you in the process.
I personally love Photoshop and not even my love for open source can let me migrate from it. If you also have illustrator, even better, you can use both in combination. PSP and PS do basically the same, I think PS is a bit more popular so there might be more elements around (brushes, effects, etc). I have only tried PSP so it would be good to read some other opinions on people who have actually crossed the frontier.
Here's a list of command equivalences for both programs: http://paintshoppro.info/tutorials/photoshop_to_paintshoppro_dictionary.htm