unfortunately video editing is quite an expensive hobby to start with. A highest spec machine is always recommended as video processing could take loads of processor, memory and storage usage. You are looking at a machine with at least 512MB RAM, 2GHz CPU, 120GB HDD as backbone. You could have some lee way in graphic card - even an integrated type will do. Firewire is definitely a must. I was about to suggest a TV capture card as well, but since you are also looking to buy a camcorder, you could used the pass through feature to capture to your computer. There are many video editing softwares. Most of them has trial version, so you could tried them all before committing to any. I only have used Sony Vegas and could personally recommend it.