Re: Mac questions for the educated
The only 2 video editing programs I know for Mac other than iMovie are Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro...neither of which are equal to or less than $150... Adobe is like $700 and Final Cut is about $1000. Stick with iMovie unless you got the money or find something cheaper. If you had Windows, I could recommend Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I use Movie Studio Platinum for my short films, and regular Movie Studio is cheaper and seems better suited for you.
I don't know about cameras, I got my Canon Elura 100 for $350 almost a yr ago. That camera was voted best consumer camera of 2006, however they stopped production of it in Jan '07. Great camera if you can find one. It probably won't be $300 or less if you do though.
You will need a 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable to transfer from the camera to the computer. Cameras don't come with them.
You shouldn't use a whole bunch of effects/transitions, it makes videos look stupid, just a tip there. Star Wars is the only film I can think of that actually uses transitions other than fades. You should only use effects when it needs to be added, not just to "make it look better". I guarantee you it will end up worse in most cases.