I noticed that Avid is offering a $50 upgrade to the HD version of Xpress Pro instead of trying to hit you for the full $1600+. I don't even have anything that can shoot HD, and yet that's tempting.
I also noticed in DV Magazine that the HD cameras are now well under $5k. That's insane. We don't even have a widespread consumer HD format to distribute on yet (i.e., HD versions of the common DVD), but we can shoot and edit already. Maybe you had to have worked in the business and purchased a lot of gear, but that's insane in terms of the time to market for these products. I worked with those damn 3/4" U-matic machines for the better part of a decade and suddenly every indie film nut can cut a movie on their computer in HD. That's nuts.
I need to write some short screenplays. Five minute episodes should be a piece of cake to write, I just need to think of some characters and give them a world to do stupid shit in. I've got lighting already, so I could probably score some decent audio gear to use with my aging Sony DV for under $500. I've already got Avid, so I'm straight with editing. I could distribute on the Web and sell DVD's once there's a collection.