Truth be told--there are probably good freeware alternatives to any of these.
As I said above, I'm a long time fan of Photoplus and Drawplus. I doubt that PP is any more powerful than GIMP. DP is comparable to Inkscape or Paint.net, I think. DP has really nice shape-builder tools as well as good effects for makings outlines, bevels, shadows, etc. Also it has a nice "cut-out studio." (though GIMP also lets you do cut outs)
As folks have mentioned above, you'll get "special offers" such as the Uniblue stuff in the Serif installers. Another annoyance is that you get a "register me" pop up that NEVER goes away unless you register. Registering takes you to this screen:
If you ever uninstall/reinstall the software, you'll have to call again. There's no way to just register online.... They'll use the opportunity to try and sell you more stuff. No biggie though. The guy is pretty polite, and you can haggle with him.
Also, they'll email paid upgrade offers. Ignore the first half dozen or so offers, then they'll start emailing better offers.
The extra spam that I get from them is not too bad. No worse than Ashampoo.
Another note: If you're thinking of getting a webbuilding app, I learned about this somewhere (maybe here, or Gizmo's?)http://expression.mi...t.com/en-US/cc136523
Expression Web v4 is free. The download link says "trial" but it's a full free version. It seems like a pretty capable app. I don't know much about making websites, so can't give an expert opinion. Also I've never looked at the Serif Web one, so can't compare.