This free, open-source word-processor strikes us as a worthy alternative to pricey, big-name products. AbiWord has a quick learning curve, since the interface is very similar to other word processors. You'll find just about all the features you need, including the ability to cut and paste, to highlight, as well a bevy of common formatting tools.
Although we did miss a grammar-checking utility, AbiWord can check your spelling in many languages--you'll need to choose the appropriate foreign language dictionaries during installation. A huge plus is the ability to open and save Microsoft Word documents, though the program also has its own proprietary file format. You can download plug-ins at the publisher's site to import and export a wide variety of other formats, including OpenDocument. AbiWord should appeal to a wide range of users who seek a functional word-processing app but lack a large bank account.