It's pretty good as a beginning. I think there should be more contrast as there aren't really any solid darks or lights. The cutout on the logo is a little rough as well. That may be because the original you had was rough, I don't know. Cutouts are tricky in the beginning, just keep practicing and you'll get better.
blend in the letters better. it just looks like a bad quality cutting job. it's easy and clean, so not that bad for starters. however never start out a wallpaper on 640*480. always just make it atleast 1024*768, and if you wanna show it on the forums. crop it to 640*480, so you don't have to remake it to get it larger.
I would recommend staying away from filters and effects. I really think they cheapen your work. Most of us know how filters work, and I think it distracts from the beautiful artwork you are using. I really envy Tetsuya Nomura, he's got such an amazing grasp on costumes.
I have a hard time buying that as I am unaware of any professionals that use Paintshop Pro. The point is moot anyway since it's really not the tools that make the artist. And, of course, in the end the majority of photoediting programs are basically the same anyway. I use Photoshop for work related things because it is the industry standard, no way around that unfortunately. For my own stuff I use Corel Photopaint, which I find to be more intuitive and less ungainly than PS.
What it comes down to is that a filter is a filter regardless of the program and when it's as obvious as that I think it's too much. The way you used the texture in the first batch is much better I think. It's still a filter, but it's subtle enough that it enhances the feeling you're going for without taking away from the line-art.