Photoshop is user friendly...at least to me, but it probably will take awhile for a beginner to figure out. There are lots of features it can do and some of them take more time to understand than others.
If your looking for a cheaper alternative to Photoshop, Adobe does make a program called Photoshop Elements, which is the best alternative to using the fully functional Photoshop. Its directed towards casual users aswell so it should be easier to use. It is $80 (cheap for software) and you can find it here
And if you do get a hold of Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements and you don't know where to start I always recommend using the HELP menu, Adobe is always there to explain how to use their software and they are the best source to go to if your trying to learn the basic interface of the program. This is probably true for any software you use.