At $384 (plus shipping and tax), I think this is the cheapest way to buy a legitimate, non-educational copy of Photoshop this week:

  1. Buy a Wacom tablet. Pretty much any current model will work, including the $85 Graphire 4x5.
  2. Once it arrives, grab the Photoshop Elements 3 license key out of the box. Then follow the directions on, and call Adobe Customer Service at 1-800-833-6687 to order Photoshop CS2 for $299. This only works for Wacom’s copies of PS Elements. The sales rep that I talked to had a hard time finding the deal in their database, but he did find it eventually. There is no expiration date listed.
  3. Once CS2 arrives in the mail, call Adobe’s support line again and order your free upgrade to Photoshop CS3, as per Adobe’s CS3 FAQ. I can’t guarantee that this will work, but the Adobe phone sales guy that I talked to this morning claimed that the copy of CS2 that they’re sending me is eligible for the “I bought CS2 after CS3 was announced” free upgrade.


Update (416): My copy of CS2 arrived successfully, so I registered it and called Adobe’s sales line. After almost an hour on hold, they took my credit card number and charged me $6 shipping to send me a copy of Photoshop CS3. Mission accomplished.

Update (425): CS3 arrived today as expected. So yes, you can buy a perfectly legal copy of Photoshop CS3 for under $400, over $250 off the usual price, and get a Wacom tablet for free.