Some day I may flesh this out. For the moment, I'll start by stating that Pinnacle Plus for Windows is easy, attractive, popular, but buggy as all heck when you've got a hundred edits going. I loved iMovie, and would probably love Final Cut Pro, but found my old iMac underpowered for real efforts (30 hours to do one video).
I can't afford the Mac right now to do either justice, and Linux editors seem to be either immature (Kino) or pretty complicated by comparison (Cinelerra), so for now, and maybe years to come, Windows XP is where I will edit movies.
After given up on Pinnacle after making one movie (liam2005q1) and ignoring the rather limited Windows Movie Maker, I broke down and bought Adobe Premiere Elements for about $100. What a great app! Elements wants a good video card so I bought a $100 Mad Dog. I also have a $50 firewire card and a DVD burner (stock PC lacked these). Otherwise Premiere runs fine on a low-end but modern PC, even my originally $400 eMachines T2958. Much fun, great response, really nice output to DVD or any of many multimedia formats.
See recent results at http://www.taplintoys.com/mm/multimedia.html.
Visitors might see new 10-15 minute videos every few months or so. I'll save them all in Windows Media format, at least until I can afford a high-end Mac and Final Cut Pro. I like wmv because (a.) most folks already have Windows Media Player, and (b.) wmv files seem to compress better than QuickTime - at least as generated by Premiere Elements, QuickTime Pro, or Cinematize.
I did try at least a dozen other permutations, including Sorenson 3 compression to QuickTime and several mpeg-2 and mpeg-4 options, but if I want to keep both file sizes and output quality reasonable, wmv seems to be a best bet.
Incidentally, getting video off an existing DVD can be very difficult without Cinematize. This app converts DVD files back into something editable, like QuickTime, so you can re-edit what you did long ago. This is how I am now planning to now convert 2003 and 2004 videos into wmv files even though I have rebuilt the PC and lost all original digital content except the DVDs.
What do you think? Constructive criticism of the movies or ideas is welcome.