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Well IMO, if you’re attending a school thathas Mac’s &Final Cut Pro in house, then it would would be a good idea for you to at least get Final Cut Express and a Mac to use during your studies. I would not ditch your PC and Vegas (I use both Vegas Pro10 on PC andFinal Cut Express on iMac), as I agree with Ryan3078 and that one should have as much cross platform training as possible, especially when you graduate and transfer into the workplace. It will make yourself more marketable.
If you decide to go to the full FCP Suite, then check out BH Photo’s website. They have the full version (non EDU)for lessthan Apples EDU discount. Right now it’s $799 with some training DVD’s. They also have a respectable 21″ imacfor less than $1200. You can get a 13″ mac pro on their EDU site for less than $1400. I have no affiliation with them, but I buy all my stuff there. They always have great prices and great customer service.
FWIW, I’m running FCE4 on a 27″ iMac with an intel core 2duo @ 3.06ghz & 4gb memory. I amediting HDV & AVCHDmaterial, but with FCE’s intermediate codec, it makes thingssmoother to edit. It’s doing all I need it to do for now. If you have plenty of access to FCP at school, then I’d stick with FCE for now and do your rough cutting with it and finish graphics, color grading,output, etcwith the schools systems.
Oh, and one more thing,regarding “pirating” the software. That’s an easy one to answer for me. NO, DON’T DO IT. But only you can make that moral decision for yourself.