Adobe's easy but powerful video editor/DVD maker has the home prosumer in mind. It's more polished than many of the video tools included in suites like Roxio and Nero, and it focuses on one task and does it very well.
Premiere Elements 3.0 has a clean and concise interface that keeps you in the same window for film editing and DVD making but uses tabs and icons to swap in different types of operations and effect libraries. You simply pull in files on the hard drive or videos from a camera and drag and drop them into the time line. A new "Sceneline" method simplifies the time line into a series of icons that you can rearrange or add effects to, as you would with any slideshow. This version also lets you add narration through an attached microphone. Finally, like many editing programs, Elements can output a project for viewing on an iPod, PSP, or cell phone.
What we like most about Premiere Elements 3.0 is that the user-friendly interface reveals tremendous features: visual and audio adjustments for every clip, audio looping, opacity, volume, and more. Effects, like repositioning a video frame within the screen or adding text, are fully interactive, so you literally are dragging the video frame or typing text on top of the video. We found these tools to be exceptionally intuitive and well thought out. Backing out of some effects was tougher than it needed to be, however, as some actions could be easily undone but others could not.
Overall, there is stunning versatility here and loads of DVD menu templates, not to mention buckets of transitions and video effects. At $99, you won't find video editing software this deep and this friendly.