I would like some opinions for the best RT card for the money. I'd like to stay under $1K. It would be used for short and long form with moderate effects, color correction, and some analog output. There seems to be many products that are close, but maybe you users will know better. Obviously the less render time the better. Is a few hundred dollars over a grand worth it?
I have the Matrox RT.X100. It's definitely worth the money. I'd recommend it alone for the realtime color correction, which I regularly use to correct my video and match the video from two different cameras. The Xtreme drivers due next month improve an already great product.
The other feature I appreciate is the realtime transcoding for DVD. Transcoding used to run at 10:1 for me. The realtime transcoding allows me to transcode the video and author the DVD in the same evening.