Unbelievably, I think I have answered my own question.
First, apologies for not specifying platform. I'm looking for a solution for 64bit PC platform.
Now, the solution.
I've discovered Lightworks, and while not as intuitive as Premiere or Final Cut, it does seem to work. Keep in mind I've only been using it for 1/2 an hour.
It has loads of followers, and its list of film credits is pretty impressive.
I confess I have never been a fan of Avid: I always thought it unnecessarily proprietary and a bit cumbersome on top of it.
Lightworks makes Avid look like Windows Moviemaker. It is just NOT a very easy user interface. To date I have worked on Media 100, Avid, Premiere, and Final Cut, so I get the basic logic of digital editing. It took me quite a while to figure out that the timeline was in fact what they call a strip view.
I'm looking for a freebie because I'm going to be working in the field with groups of students--all editing their documentaries on laptops. I don't have the budget to pay for 5 Adobe licenses. But I can't see myself trying to teach inexperienced students how to use Lightwave, its just not intuitive enough. I've taught students using Premiere and Final Cut, and after 1/2 an hour they can run pretty far. I've also taught Avid with not as much luck, but not bad either. Lightwave? I just can't see them RUNNING with it. Everything you want to do is a bit of a major question. Really REALLY lacking in interface. Hey, GUI is everything.
So am I RUNNING with Lightworks? Kicking up my heels and singing tra-la-la? No. But I will say this, hats off to a group that has a free beta out there that is definitely powerful and will let you work with P2 files.
Here's the link for those of you who are interested: