The program that I use for video-editing is Premiere Pro CS5 (as part of Production Premium).
When I used to select video for editing from large video files, imported into Premiere Pro projects from HDV-tapes, it was easy to browse through the file and to collect the useful bits of video. But since I changed to AVCHD-video I have to deal with large numbers of separate files. This makes the video much less accessible and therefore complicates the selection process very much. Is there a useful workflow or approach to make this easy in the AVCHD-case?
It's easier in CS6, where you have access to Prelude and Hover Scrub.
For CS5, I'd probably use Bridge for this type of thing.
It sounds like you captured the whole HDV tape as a single file and then placed that on the timeline.
Individual AVCHD files is normal, the easiest way to deal with them in the manner you are use to if I am correct in my assumption above is to selet all the clips you have imported and place them on a sequence and view them from there
You can then create a new sequence and edit away