What you've suspected is true: If you plan to edit your video on an under-$500 video editor, you need to shoot in 60i rather than 60p. No under-$500 supports 1920x1080 60p -- and loading 60p into a project that's not set up for it is only likely to cause problems.
Meantime, I encourage you to output a BluRay disc of video you shot in 60i and compare it to video you've shot in 60p. I think you'll find 60i is not much of a compromise, and the quality on final output to BluRay is every bit as good as from video shot in 60p. But that's your call.
As for Premiere Elements 10, it runs on both PCs and Macs, so it's editing option at a great price.
Also, even though Premiere Pro is said to be able to edit 1080P (I don't use that format, so no direct knowledge) you will not be able to write that to a BluRay
1080/50p or 1080/60p NOT to BluRay http://forums.adobe.com/message/3636265
-Premiere Pro will edit, but NOT part of the BluRay specification
The only reason I have not thought about filming in 60i is based upon the issues you can get with lots of motion.
I was really hoping I could stick with Elements but looks like this might not be the right fit for the type of footage I am trying to capture.
Good news is I did find another product that will edit natively 60p video and is around $100.00
Guess I will give that a shot and see what happens.
Meantime, don't forget to compare the results of a BluRay burned from a 60p project and a BluRay burrned from a 60i project.
You may find that those extra frames don't really count for much in the final wash.
Which Mac Book Pro do you own? Have you downloaded the Premiere cs5.5 trial to see what you can do with it?
I am new to the HD world and it is interesting that you have what I would consider a consumer priced camera, but with high spec needs for editing.
Hopefully you can find a compromise between the technology of your camera, computers, software, and your budget.
I would like to know how things work out. I just went from a G4 1 gig machine to a 15 inch mbp. I have been test driving premiere cs5.5 with 720p 30 and in the little I have done with it, it works with it without even cracking a sweat. I would like to see how it works with 1080. I did a 1080 i vs.1080 p search. Lots to learn. It would be nice to see them compared side by side on a large HD screen.
You may end up working with an intermediary codec. There are lots of them. A friend of mine is a post production assistant in the Industry and he says that they shoot up to 4,000 lines of resolution. Film is mastered at that. But they don't edit it that way.
Another thing, I don't know if you are aware, but the trial version of Premiere cs5.5 is a full working trial.