Hell, iMovie comes free with OS X and it handles HDV natively, among other formats. Very easy to use, and more powerful than ever. Granted, I'm on Final Cut Pro myself, but most people don't need that many features.
CarbLover: Macs network fine in my experience. Your college may not have had enough RAM installed in your 'puters. You said they were not that great. Your newspaper was probably using a ping pong paddle to compete at Wimbledon, so to speak.