You'll love Elements, and it's a heck of a lot less than $600! I think I saw it recently for $59, after a $30 Adobe rebate, and your old Photo Deluxe would be a qualifying piece of software. If you look around, you might be able to find it for less.
You've seen references to newer versions of Photo Deluxe on the forum recently, I think, and it's been discontinued. Or you might be getting confused with full Photoshop. That's the premiere editing program (and $600!), but judging from the description of what you want to accomplish, Elements will give you everything you need, and probably more. Elements is based on the engine of Photoshop 7.0, but it lacks some of the higher end features. No CYMK (although there is a somewhat awkward way to do that with an addon), you can't write actions, but Elements can play them back if it contains the correct features. Not many of us do anything Elements can't handle, and you probably won't either. Go for it! We need new blood in the forum! :) (Not that there's anything wrong with the old blood mind you, but the more the merrier!)