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While Cineform is an intermediate codec it is much more than that. It is the fastest way you will be able to edit with Premiere.
It will DRAMATICALLY increase the speed of your workflow vs. a native Premiere workflow. The CineForm realtime engine is the key to all of this.
As an option : I have no intermediate CODECS in my CS3 Suite and I edit mxf HD natively so with the "right system" one can avoid intermediaries.
I can not compare what is the "fastest" way to edit in Premiere but it is fast and simple for me.
Note : Maybe you just need Cineform to work with 'HDV'
I tried editing hdv on a PIV and it was nightmarishly slow.
But i upgraded to a quad core and the difference is astonishing. Id personally rather spend the money on mem and cpu than an intermediate codec or 3rd party capture card. While I cant really knock Cineform (they are good at what they do) with a really fast system and sw that is designed to handle native codecs like PPRO seems to be strategically designed to do; it is a good solution. Anytime I can avoid loading plugins, drivers, 3rd party sw and keeping it all in sync; the better.