Given that you mainly or even only edit SD, I think this is an understandable move. Whether the rest of the CS4 features (the improvements in PS Extended, the DL capabilities with EN and AE, the returned Edit in Audition, etc.) that you will no longer have available will be missed depends on your workflow and can only be judged by yourself.
Just to clarify Harm that I have both PPRo CS3 AND PPro CS4 installed on the same machine. It's just that I will be now be editing with CS3. The rest of the CS4 programmes are really good. Photoshop, After FX and Encore are my main programmes although i don't tend to use DL. I think I will probably wait until more PPRo CS4 updates come out or even CS5.
You do not seem to be alone in this. So long as one does not need the newer formats, or the enhancements, many of which Harm mentioned, others are taking your stand.
I'd also wager that this is big reason for the recent Adobe survey, basically on "what will it take for you to upgrade?" plus a few other questions on workflow.
I never had a licensed copy of CS3, I used CS2 ... I did the 'trial version' of CS3 for the 30 days ..which btw is why i purchased CS4. If i had CS3, I would SURE go back myself. Like yourself, I edit SD only (at least for the foreseeable future) as well. CS4 has some good ideas, but your issues are mine as well ... issue for issue. I find myslef holding my breath every time I start a new project or work on an existing project. Crash after crash .. so far, I haven't had an 'unrecoverable' problem, but the sluggishness, slow response, freezes and other issues are a real pain. I plan to go today and purchase a new HD and copy of Vista64. I'm going to pull out my existing system HD and install a new 'System HD' and Vist64, then install CS4 and see if there is any significant improvement. If anything goes south, at least I can just put my old 'system HD' back in my machine and I'm back to where I am right now.
I want to tell you something. When I had my Quad core PC with 4gb ram running XP32bit and CS3 on it everything was just fine. Did not have many crashes system was working great. But CS4 was installed and because I had to finish old projects I did not use CS4 right away, but I noted a performance increase in CS3 which for me was a bit surprise. So I tried new CS4 and found that it has some problems on my system, and crashing often, and transcoding was much longer. So I decided to go with Vista 64bit and 8 gigs of ram. My premiere and rest of the programs are running solid I did not have any crashes at all for about 6 months now. I am editing multicams 3 or 4 SD and HD. I am glad that I switched to CS4 and upgraded to Vista.
Exporting to frame from Premiere pro I was missing to for a while, but you can do that in Photoshop and get much better quality and it is a psd file right away and it wokrs and work flow is much better and faster.
My experience is the same as Andrey's.
I believe the key to getting the performance out of CS4 is RAM. It does no good to upgrade to Vista 64 without also installing 8-16 GB RAM.
Most of the problems I had with CS3 had to do with XP 32 bit/ 3GB RAM. CS4 is even more RAM hungry. With 12 GB, CS4 is running very smoothly on my i7 and will often access 5-6 GB total RAM (including kernal, etc) during rendering.
I have found the CS4 does work very well on Vista with more Ram. I have experienced most of my problems with Encore CS4 for burning blu-rays. I have Encore CS3 installed on another windows machine right now.
How do you export a psd frame of video from photoshop?
I have to agree with you and others when speaking of CS4 and 64bit + 8GB or more of RAM as really the apples to apples (cs3 to cs4) comparison. Bottom line is that CS4 has some substantial changes in it to help us prepare for the future and support more formats and that includes greater memory addressing.
I put out a couple of articles on my blog some time back that you may find useful:
I would say this: if you have a chance to test CS4.1 or later with Vista/Win 7 64 and 8GB of RAM, I would be interested to hear your opinion.
Hope this helps,