How about the hardware side of things? My 32bit, 8GB RAM, Windows machine just won't render Quickly enough.
( I just tried to start another thread on the same subject .. Then saw this.
FWIW, I consider myself intermediate skill level.
You have 8GB @ 32bit? Are you sure? 32 bit can only utilize ~3.5GB of RAM. 64bit can use more RAM. Not to mention, if you're using newer versions of Premiere Pro, 64bit apps can use more of that RAM as well, better performance. If you're building a video editing machine for Premiere, RAM isn't as important (I haven't seen PP use a lot of it), but it's better to have a good nVidia card, because those can use CUDA for better playback performance.
Now, if we're talking After Effects, it EATS up RAM. So the more RAM, the more previewing you can do. 8gigs gets me by, but my laptop i7 has 16GB (and CUDA) and is actually better for editing in AE.
Another thing that can really help is having multiple HD's. If you can have source material on one drive, and write to another, and if neither are the system disk, you'll notice better speed. Spinning drives are better, just because SSD's have finite number of writes per block. At least that's what I was told. Pros like to use a RAID setup. Nice thing about that, with all these new machines supporting eSATA, USB3.0, or Thunderbolt, you can get external arrays. I plan on going that route for the laptop.