I just want to say something about AVID. I think it's completely absurd how AVID is still seen as the "end all be all" of NLEs.
Out of college I got hired as an editor at an ad agency. We cut on Premiere Pro on a PC. I've been doing it for 2 1/2 years. I haven't had any problems. I also use Premiere for my freelance work. But recently, in an effort to advance my career, I applied for a position at a FOX affiliate to write and edit commercials. Of course they only run AVID there, and I haven't touched AVID since college. Next week, they want me to come in and demonstrate my skills as an AVID editor.
In a panic, I started asking fellow video professionals if someone had an AVID system for me to fool around with. Wouldn't you know it, NO ONE outside of the broadcast, or mainstream production houses, uses AVID. EVERYONE is either using Premiere Pro or Final Cut. You know why? You get the same results cutting with FCP or PP that you do with AVID. It's impossible to look at a piece of production and say "oh, I can tell by that cut, or by that dissolve that they used AVID". So as far as I can see, AVID is a gigantic waste of money, and I can't wait for the big executives to realize it and get on board with FCP or PP.
End of rant.
You could always download the Avid Xpress "free" version, that should be close enough to get your chops back.
You are correct, if you are a kid working in your bedroom, or a production house with one system,
FCP or Premiere, Etc. will do the job, if you are in a multi-editor environment where people have to share and collaborate, Avid has the edge on Workflow, and I capitalize Workflow to emphasize its importance. It can mean the difference in keeping on budget.
Avid has a Workflow model called an Avid "Hotel", there could be 15 Xpress Pro/Media Composer off-line systems, they cascade to the 2 or 3 online Symphony’s, and maybe a single DS or Nitris for the real high end color correcting and effects and compositing.
Networks and big production houses working on episodic TV love this setup, several editors can work on the same show, and bust it out quick.
I started out in 1987 edited Linear [tape to tape], moved to non-linear on Media 100's in 1997; Premiere and Discreet edit* in 2000, then Avid in 2001, for me Avid is the one. At my workplace I have an Avid Adrenaline, the other system over in the news department is a FCP 4.5, they have issues with clips disappearing and projects corrupting, I never have issues with the Avid, it just flat out works.
Good luck in the job search.
It won't be long, with all the system integrators that I've talked to, people are moving away from Avid in droves. Some of the largest productions I know of who where once Avid have made the switch over.
This is accurate, and many divisions of FOX have already switched to FCP.
You must remember, that when a station spends A LOT of money, they are not going to throw it in the garbage, just because you don't know how to use it. There will always be products that you don't know, and for the rest of your career, you will have to continue learning new products. What you are witnessing right now are the "old dogs" who have used AVID for 15 years, and don't want to learn anything new. As FCP and Premier take over, please don't become THAT PERSON 15 years from now, that says "this new editing system SUCKS - FCP and Premier are still the best" - there will always be something new. And the young guys (like you are now), will know that new system. You dont' want to become the "old dog".