Okay. Maybe Adobe is the the devil. I still do not like the Creative Cloud idea for subscribing to software, but after a lot of digging I found two things to ease the pain (though I still really dislike the terms of service).
First, you can subscribe to a single app (like Photoshop CS6) for $9.99 a month - if you are already have version CS3 or higher. https://creative.adobe.com/plans?plan=offers
The other is that it is still possible to buy the traditional versions of Photoshop - it just takes some digging. They do not offer a lower priced upgrade that I could find, so you either have to pay the full $699 for the program, or if you are an educator/student you can buy it for $349. However, the agent I chatted with online did not provide me with the right link to order that product.
Why does it even matter? After all, I have CS3 and CS4... why the upgrade? The primary reason is because my camera is newer than either version, and I prefer to shoot RAW files. They will not open in Photoshop CS4 unless I first go through the hassle of converting them into DNG files. The second reason is that as a teacher I need to know what is out there and know how to use it. I have been planning on getting Adobe Certified, and that means knowing the latest version.
So the final verdict? There isn't one for me yet. I disagree with the ToS and do not really like the idea of paying $240 a year to use the software. It would be nice to be able to streamline my workflow and not have to convert my RAW files, and the content aware brushes in CS6 are supposed to be amazing.