I use Photshop Elements 5.0. I go to File - Place instead of File- Open to directly insert elements. Here's a screenshot:
Ocassionally I'll run across an element that is itty bitty when I place it and I'll think to myself, "Surely the designer did not make this this small!" In those cases, I open the element and drag it onto the canvas. It's usually because they forgot to remove the extra pixels around it. But that rarely happens.
I use the place feature all the time for everything except photos (when making an LO). I always want them to start off at their largest size. When making a siggiy, however, I use "Place" for everything!