Yeah, I post a bit over there, mainly on things I have personal interest in or can hit with a quick detail-less answer. Unlike there, you've got my full attention here, and the guarantee I'll be the one to answer in detail.
I've been using Adobe Premiere since 2001, when I myself bit the bullet and bought a DVD-R drive ($800 back then) and software for video. I had Premiere 6.0 with LIGOS LSX encoder (which was horrible for MPEG usage), but soon 6.5 came out, along with the Adobe MPEG Encoder 1.x, which made MPEG creation easy.
If you plan to EVER edit your own video ... and I mean REAL editing ... not just removing commercial and chopping off extra footage ... then get either Adobe Premiere or Vegas Video. I prefer Adobe, as there is a large userbase and Adobe is great at supporting their own products (to a degree).
I don't edit much video extensively ... not yet at least. When I get the Matrox RT2500 or RTX100 I want, then I'll edit a lot more. But for projects I've done to date, I cannot imagine any other way to seriously edit video. I also prefer to use Canopus Procoder 1.5 as my MPEG exported from Premiere. I like it's speed and quality over MainConcept
(Adobe MPEG Encoder).
I have no experience with Premiere Pro (Premiere 7), so be aware that it may have some obnoxious bugs. This is just whispers and grumblings I hear from others. Vegas Video is a bit ... I don't know ... different than Premiere and I don't really like what I see. Much like Ford over GM or Canon over Nikon, this is one of those things where you have to pick sides. I like GM, Nikon and Adobe... just how I went.
I decided to skip making Premiere guides on digitalFAQ.com ... www.wrigleyvideo.com
has it all. I won't even bother trying to outdo his guides, and I really don't have anything else to add to what he's got online.
When it comes to other Adobe software ... skip Encore (grab ReelDVD or DVD-LAB PRO) ... skip Audition (get SoundForge
). Photoshop is excellent, better than anything else.