Help Choosing Video Editing Software

Hi Fellow Sifters... I have a question, and the choices seem almost endless out there, so would like some help from anyone who has a clue.

I like to throw together home movies occasionally, or slideshows, or create stop motion movies with the kids, this was our last one:

Now, I've battled along with free software for too long now (first Windows Movie Maker, now Pinnacle's VideoSpin). It's getting increasingly annoying and time consuming to work within their huge limitations, so would like to step up to something with more ability.

I just did a search for cheap video editing software (For Windows... YES, I'm a Windows person, please don't tell me to get a Mac and iMovie), and found lists like this one which suggest things like Cyberlink's PowerDirector and the like.

But there really are so many suggestions, and I don't know which are good.

I would like something that doesn't have annoying restrictions like 2 audio tracks (I'm looking at you videospin, or you Windows Movie maker with your ONE audio track), and maybe features which make it easier to do stop motion animation... and has nice transitions and titles, will output to HD and so on.

I know we have creative people here, and others than those that use Avid or other top end products, do we have any that use lowly consumer grade stuff?

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