[John Kaley]"Is Avid DS still a contender in the editing application wars?"
Yes. Avid DS is the only NLE on the market that can be considered both a competent "offline" editor, as well as a high-end "finishing" tool. It is, however, Windows-only, which turns off a lot of the creatives in this business who have historically been very Mac-centric. That being said, I've seen quite a few posts on DS lists from editors who have successfully run DS on Mac Pros and MBPs under Boot Camp. $10K might still be a bit pricey, but that also includes a license of Avid MC. Avid DS works with Kona cards if you need hardware I/O.