I am considering buying a Wacom. If you do not know what is, it is a graphics tablet. You can connect it to your PC and with it's pen you can write, draw, illustrate, etc. This can give more of a pen to paper approach to creating graphics, which for me is a big advantage over creating graphics only with a mouse. And it is compatible with a fair amount of software including many Adobe products such as Flash, Fireworks, and Photoshop. I am a big user of Flash and can see many advantages to having a Wacom at my side when developing in Flash. And not just animations, but also enhancing sims and videos developed or imported into Flash. Especially videos, which I love to "Add Pizzazz to videos."
I do not have formal training in graphics, but without a graphic artist at my disposal I have been forced to learn enough to hold my own. This is probably the case for many e-learning designers. As a side note, having a skilled graphic artist on an e-learning team is essential, but not always a reality. So, any tools I can get my hands on to improve the quality of graphics I use and speed up the process, the better.
Here are some tutorials I have found while exploring Wacoms:
40+ Tutorials for Working WIth Wacom Tablets
How to Create an Animated Walk Cycle in Flash (Using Flash and a Wacom)
How to Work With a Wacom Tablet in Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop Tips and Tricks (Wacom)