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Taking your sequences in order:
Correct. (But PPCS3 can edit HDV without conversion but with some difficulties.)
Yes. Go to the Cineform website to learn the price of the various software versions available.
I am editing HDV natively and have been wondering whether Aspect would be much of a benefit. Is it correct to say that the biggest befefit is at the capture stage (I don't need this as my HDV comes in as a file (conversion from AVCHD) I find I can edit OK in CS3 - scrubs, transitions and effects all seem pretty much OK, albeit not as smooth as SD DV on the timeline. I didn't find the Cineform website to be that clear as to what the specific benefits will be. Will it be creating massive intermediate files somewhere in the background? Can someone explain what is meant by 'more friendly' in this context. Maybe I will then give the trial a go.
MickKeay, you can download Aspect and give it a try. There isn't much people can say here that really isn't said on the Cineform web site pertaining to the benefits of it.
(Or you can do some searching here to find many comments about it)