If you just want to do simple, basic stuff Picasa 3 is very good. A feature I find very useful is the Neutral Colour Picker, a one-click function for removing colour cast; "I'm Feeling Lucky" also does a good job in improving less-than-ideal shots. One little quirk is that the only way you can resize photos is by exporting them - for that I use Irfanview. If you want a "grown-up" photo editor, try GIMP.
It's a matter of horses for courses - ease of use versus features. For my needs Picasa does about 90% of what I want, Irfanview 9% & for the remaining 1% I use GIMP.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".