for most people, Illustrator or a comparable vector program will produce fewer issues after submission. AI compositions have their own set of downfalls too -- not outlining fonts or expanding appearances can wreck shit.
regarding versions of Photoshop, i honestly don't know what all non-premium versions are out there now. i'd bet the ranch that even PS Elements or whatever entry-level version they have will do everything you'd need for photo editing and some design. as they go up in price/complexity, it just includes more and more wild-ass features that most people don't use (and go way beyond normal imaging).
regarding stamp-making in PS...
composing in Photoshop is an expert-level approach, as is designing with PS/AI in tandem using embedded files. i haven't submitted a vector file for a stamp master in about 3 years, either to a manufacturer or directly to the engraver. if you read the Stamp Guidelines doc from any manufacturer, even the one that i wrote for DN, you won't find these practices endorsed.PS for better stamp design: you must know exactly what you're doing, so it's not for most people.
victorb wrote:For those people that do a lot of stamp artwork, what's your computer program of choice?
my program of choice is Photoshop CS4 or above, but vector programs are more widely appropriate