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Part of the problem can be that you're running it on a 64-bit operating system. Vista sort of compensates for that, but it can still have problems and bugginess.
Meantime, Vista can certainly benefit from some optimizing, even if you have lots of power. Things like Indexing, for instance, can certainly cause the problems you're experiencing. (So can your e-mail software, your virus software and certainly anything made by Norton, which is closer to a virus than antivirus software!)
The FAQs at the top of this forum offer some tune-up advice.
How do these Clips play in WMP, MediaPlayer Classic or VLC Player?
I've seen truncation with some converted AVI's (DivX and similar to DV-AVI) in Premiere Pro. However, I have never seen it in Elements. Matter of fact, if Pro does this, I just load the file into PE, and do a quick Export>Movie - fixed 100% of the time. I have neither PE7, nor a 64-bit OS, so I cannot comment directly.
Following the instructions for optimizing vista seemed to help a lot. It didn't solve the problem completely, but it is usable. Windows Media plays the clip with no problem. It's a standard DV capture from firewire. I'll keep optimizing and post back if I find anything worth saying. I'm doing to videos over the next few weeks. I'm sure others would like to know how well Vista64 performs.