Most of the gimmicks are not very useful, but two features would make Elements excellent for the bucks. The first is a much stronger blur tool. It should have a slider and be very strong at the top end. The second is lens correction that includes actual lenses, as Photoshop has.
Blur: Filter >> blur >> gaussian blur. Did you use the slider?
Lens correction. You are shooting raw, don't you? The actual lens profiles are optimized in Elements as well. To recover the manual lens corrections as in the full Photoshop ACR raw converter, my advice is to buy the very affordable add-on Elements+. See the section for raw corrections. The lens corrections available in the editor are enough for me.