in the playback settings, make sure that the play is on full, and pause on full.
>Could it be that I'm using the wrong presets?
Well... what ARE your presets... and what are the settings in your camera?
I'm not at PPro right now, but I think I remember (at least) 4 different presets
My AVCHD editing has WONDERFUL video... using the correct preset to match what I record... http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694?tstart=0
I am using a Sony HDR-CX110 which shoots in 1080i 60fps and i am using the AVCHD 60i preset.
Did you do what Studio said in post 1 ?
If you have it set wrong it will look ugly.