I will let the others, who are shooting HD comment on the first set of questions.
For the latter part, here is my workflow and my general storage:
Most still images are stored on my NAS. When using them in a Project, I will copy the images (starting in camera RAW, or maybe processed to .PSD already) to my HDD. Then, I will do any necessary editing, plus resizing to match my needs in my Project, in Photoshop. These are then output from PS via an Action to a destination folder within the Project's hierarchy. There might be a few of these folders, based on some individual sizing needs, say if I need to pan on a zoomed out image. I will calculate the needs, and resize to that.
I will copy over all other stored Assets, say stock AV files, SFX files, and music files, again to a sub-folder for each type of Asset, and within the Project's folder hierarchy.
Last, my Captures go into a Captured Video sub-folder. In my case, I shoot SD tape, so I have the original tapes to use as a backup. Were I working with material on flash memory, I would also work only from copies.
All Scratch Disks are located with the Project.
You will note the word "copy" used almost everywhere. I seldom work from any original files, and leave those safely alone. With my stills, I usually have DNG's for most shots, as well.
Once I have set up this scheme, I never Move, Delete or Rename any Asset, once the Project has been started. I do any/all of that beforehand. Now, I do sometimes have to add Assets, but those go into the appropriate sub-folders.
Often, I am doing the actual editing to/from my FW-800 externals, so I want everything located together. I set the drive letter for each external drive exactly the same in the OS of each computer.
Hope that this is helpful,
It definitely looks like you're well on the way to a successful editing experience, JayZ!
The only qualification might be your workflow for AVCHD.
Assuming your computer is powerful enough to do so (a quad core and 4 gigs of RAM), you can edit AVCHD natively in Premiere Elements. And it doesn't matter what program you use to get it into your computer -- Premiere Elements, Pixela or even Windows Explorer. You're just moving the MP4 video files from the camcorder to your hard drive as is.
If you're going to mix video sources from all three of your cameras, though, it does make sense to convert them all to DV-AVIs before you do so. Premiere Elements doesn't mix video formats well, and DV-AVIs are the ideal format to work with.
Also, if your computer is struggling with those AVCHD files -- particularly if you're not planning to burn a BluRay disc anyway -- there's certainly no harm in converting them to standard DV-AVIs. They won't be high-resolution files, but the quality should still be excellent and should produce excellent results!
As for finding inspiration in the work of others, you won't find a better site than Muvipix for that! The people on the forum are regularly posting examples of their work on the Gallery page. You'll find links from lots of posts in the forum -- especially from the Showcase forum.
The site also sponsors an annual video contest, which includes some very nice prizes and costs nothing to enter. Even if you don't enter, they can be great places to find inspiration.
Here are last year's amazing entries!