I think you may be comparing two vastly different products and their capabilities. It is probably more accurately to compare Techsmith Camtasia to Adobe Captivate as they both have screen recording capabilities. The Adobe eLearning Suite is a bundle of software applications or "tools" that help you do a whole lot more. As with anything else, you have to know which tools work best for the type of work you do. I have both and will use the appropriate tool as my work requires. It sounds like Camtasia is probably the best thing to move forward with right now given your budget and learning curve requirements.
I've been using Camtasia for quite a while now too and I'm running 7.1 and find it's features tremendously intuitive. Creating high-quality videos are a easy but Camtasia can only do so much and would be unfair to compare and expect more given their design intent. As far as your budget, I would recommend Techsmith's upgrade plan which allows you free upgrades and support for the next 2/3 years for a lot less than you would have paid in one upgrade down the road.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm a big big fan of the eLearning Suite too. I have yet to tap 1/10th of the full potential of my eLearning suite but I'm excited for every learning opportunity (yes- there is a lot to learn). What I recommend, is you do is take a few of the Adobe TV on-demand free training sessions to really see what the eLearning Suite is all about. Dr. Allen Partridge has a great video out there that really steps you through the rational behind the eLearning products, (Adobe Presenter, Adobe Captivate, and Adobe eLearning Suite) and it should help you get a clearer prospective on what's available to you.
I hope this helps.
Seriously thank you for spending so much time on this reply!
I am also conflicted b/c the videos I produced in flash last year can't be viewed by apple products and then if I record them for quicktime then other PC users usually can not see them. So, now I heard that html 5 solves all of that. But I do not understand enough at this point to know maybe, but what software can produce a .extension video that can be seen on Apples, Windows, Android OS's?
What would you all do? I am writing a book and in the Ebook I will have links to my website to watch corresponding educational videos..
I think there are features that html 5 can solve with flash problems but I wonder why Apple cant play that flash thing of yours. Sad to say, with html 5 right now there are some features and bugs that wont work with several versions on IE that I am testing....sigh but hope you get your problems solve..