Three points about your review of Pinnacle Studio 9.
Stability - The big issue with Studio v8/v9 is not crashes. It's bugs, especially regarding the burning of discs. Has this improved with 9? It's too early to tell, but the signs are not encouraging. In a three-minute video, a project I created from scratch using v9 (as opposed to importing from v8), a SmartSound-generated music clip that previews perfectly stutters when played from the burned DVD. This sort of bug is very typical of the problems with v8; if these bugs could be quashed, Studio would have no competition.
Video Length - It is completely bogus to suggest that the program is not suitable for long videos. Naturally, if Pinnacle suggested only short projects, the product would not sell as well. Folks who invest in a DVD burner will naturally have the expectation that they can create a project that will fit the disk, which means two hours with reasonable quality or an hour at maximum quality. If someone wants to take old video tapes or old 8mm movies and make a compendium, it's entirely reasonable to expect to fill the disc. So if long videos are truly a problem for Studio, it should be a huge negative. In fact, I've made both long and short videos as long as I could work around the bugs (painful as that can be).
Interface - I have six under-$100 video editing products. I think the best editor is Sony ScreenBlast Movie Studio (formerly Sonic Foundry Video Factory), but there is no question in my mind that Studio has the best overall interface for beginners. The very fact that DVD authoring is integrated into the timeline sets Studio apart from any competition; there is no other product that so completely integrates the capture-edit-burn workflow. While I agree that the failure of the interface to conform to Windows guidelines is troubling, the overall usability of the program is excellent. It is difficult to understand how your review could come to a different conclusion.
Studio's bugs have not made Pinnacle one of my trusted vendors, but I chose Studio because of its ease of use and total integration. Those are compelling qualites not matched in any other product in the under-$100 category. If it weren't for the track record of bugs, I'd recommend the product without hesitation. But man, the bugs...
I use the ATI All in Wonder 9000 video card and software for video capture. So far, using Studio 8 which came with my dvd burner I have not been able to edit any of my captured videos. With mpeg the audio synchronization is off. With avi I get no audio at all. I have updated to the latest patch - version 8.12 but the problems have not been solved. This seems like good software - if I could only get it to work.
dont mess with pinnacle 10 yet but get on ebay and pick up version 9+ for less than 50 bucks. When patched 9 works REALLY well. Sonys movie studio + dvd is my choice for stability and dvd creation. But I use pinnacle too because it has a much better (easier) feature list.