I just got FCE. I had been using Edius Neo that came with the HMC150 via Parallels, but wanted to use software natively on my Mac, maybe work with AVCHD natively when I get a quadcore computer, and prepare myself for an upgrade to Final Cut Studio someday.
1. FCE doesn't do AVCHD. It hasn't got a clue what AVCHD is. Instead there is a plugin that converts AVCHD to either ProRes or Apple Intermediate Codec. Because FCE 4.0 is broken, only AIC works. Because my Mac has Internet problems, I can't upgrade to the fix, 4.0.1. Great. But more than that, if I upgrade to a quadcore iMac or Mac Pro, I won't be able to take advantage of the increase in horsepower. Yes it'll be faster transcoding everything, but it will still fill up my harddrives.
2. Some of my footage I copied onto my scratch disks without the proper directory structure (starting with "private"). In the back of my mind I knew this was a bad idea, but Edius Neo didn't have any problem. Now FCE 4.0 has no clue what to do with the files. I have to fire up Edius to get at some footage. I'm shocked at how dumb FCE is.
3. My 1080p24 footage won't play in the canvas. Scrolling through the footage, I can see everything. But FCE refuses to play it, saying it's unrendered. Online advisers say to set the proper format in Easy Setup. But there is no format that corresponds to 24p. All my footage is 24p. If this is a serious issue, and not just another Michael-is-being-dumb moment, FCE is useless.
Edius Neo was so straightforward I was editing in 5 minutes. With FCE I'm stuck for hours now.