now, now, now.. Just because you don't want to shell out big bucks for photoshop doesn't mean you have to be or feel left out.

http://www.gimp.org

My scanner came with Photoshop elements which only grey scale scans in 8bit. or color in 24bit (ugly, ugly)

GIMP to the rescue! (it's free) Now I scan in the highest bit mode possible. It makes a substantial difference. See July View Camera Magazine.

Cheers,
Ian