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“but is the difference in the software great enough to justify paying for a new version of Avid that would be twice as much as anupgrade to Production Premium CS4?”
Probably not. I think Avid becomes “better” when you get an Avid system that has all of Avid’s goodies. But if you buy just Avid Media Composer, I don’t see how that will be more beneficial overPremier or Final Cut Pro.
I actually hear a lot of people say that Avid will be left behind in the industry because of programs like Final Cut Studio (and I’m sure Adobe products as well). What can’t Final Cut Studio + Shake do that an loaded Avid can’t? Then you’ve got companies like RED who design their cameras with a Final Cut editor in mind. Also, more students are learning FCP or Premier and not Avid. What’s going to happen in the industry when it needs editors but no one knows Avid?