I'm a big fan of Sony's Vegas products since way back when they were Sonic Foundry's Vegas products. A video editor created from the guts of an audio editor, Vegas is my favorite editing program, and a great tool for PC users. It's superb audio tools have long been praised, and the thing has a very shallow learning curve. It's great for the short school project or feature film. All versions of Vegas have been favorably reviewed everywhere, so I won't beat a dead horse (I give it ten thumbs up!), I'll just keep riding it.
Even if you shelled out full retail ($599, packaged) Vegas Pro 8 would be worth every penny. The good news is that I found a smokin' deal from B&H Photo Video (one, if not THE most reputable online equipment house) that gives you a Vegas Pro 8 CD for $129. I was looking to upgrade (which would cost $249), but opted for this instead, and I'm glad I did.
There are some disclaimers. This is only the installation CD (authentic, with legit serial number) sans any paper packaging, extras, or documentation. Adequate instructions can be found within the 'help' menu inside Vegas, so this is inconsequential, especially if you already know the software. Also be aware that this is only the Vegas editor, and doesn't include DVD Architect, Sony's authoring program. I have never liked Architect (I much prefer DVDlab), so this also wasn't a problem. You still get the excellent audio suite, including 5.1 surround mixing, and the Dolby Digital encoder (which used to be a separate purchase).
The CD contains the 'a' version of the software, and upon installation, I was informed that 'b' was available. The most current version of Vegas now sits happily on my new laptop, fully functional.
Another bummer is that B&H is about to go on holiday, being closed from Friday, April 18 to Sunday April 27. All orders received after 9:00am today will be shipped after they reopen. This will just mean you'll have to wait an extra week (you can still place an order), but if you're like me, waiting sucks.
Vegas Pro 8 is really an awesome product. I love using it, and for the super cheap price of $129, you can get a professional level product that costs the same as the entry level stuff. For me, it was a no-brainer.
Just thought I'd let you know.