For users wanting a more automatic focus stacking, I would recommend the very affordable Elements+ add-on. It adds focus stacking together with many other Photoshop features missing from Elements. I think the other add-on, Elements XXL can do that also, but I have no personal experience.
Being an PSE 18 user, I was interested in your comment that Elements+ adds back the ability to focus stack to PSE18. I have downloaded the demo but I cant see any sign of Focus stacking. Can you give me any clues?
The demos just seem to be a series of little tricks and gimmicks which wasnt what I was looking for.