Awesome thanks! It's funny you mentioned Gimp as that was the only thing that I didn't really like since I've been using photoshop for a long time, idk if I want to have to learn a new program. I'm sticking with linux though, it's a lot of fun and it should be even more fun when I learn everything in detail.
I found a couple of cool options to the gimp problem
is a modified version with a photoshop like UI.
and I found a really easy online app here. used it to make my first sig.http://www.aviary.com/