Well, as of late I've used three programs: MSPaint, PhotoImpact X3, and Paint.NET.
All three I've used as editors and rips. However, because I still suck at creating sprites; I have only gotten as far as coloring (which I do pretty well, now). But, I've been wanting to learn from those who've created sprites ;;
RPGS ARE AWESOME! why do you ask.
Oh and what editing software do you use. I use Mspaint for scratch pixels and pixel editing. Photoshop for already ripped sprites and to use layers. Easier to fix if you screw up