Upload & Sell: On
It might be helpful if you could explain where you find CS4 lacking. For example, here is a tutorial using CS4:
Here is a very simple one I played around with sometime back with using CS5:
I think one of the limiting factors is the quality of the GIF format - a maximum of 256 colors. I would think it would be possible to do a cinemagraph in PNG, which might help, but I haven't found an example yet. This is probably due greatly to the fact that animated PNGs are still only supported in very few browsers (Firefox and Opera). Creating a video file might also be a possibility. The nice thing about GIFs though, is that they play almost universally and you can usually keep the file size fairly small.