|Does one video NLE stand out as the best?|
Sure there are the major players out there and to throw consumer apps into the mix would be kind of absurd, but of the major players in the professional market, it's hard to make a case for which of them is best. Determining the best NLE depends upon a lot of variables, including personal preference.
Most of the professional editors I know have a favorite, but use the tool that best fits the job at hand. I've been using the Avid Media Composer for a long time and love the way it works. I find it fast only because it works the way that's natural for me. But if I have a project that consists of mostly Adobe After Effects comps, it's a no-brainer to use Adobe Premiere Pro for the edit. On the other hand, if I'm doing a project that requires me to capture old DV or analog video from tape, I prefer to use Apple Final Cut Studio. I recently purchased a copy of Final Cut Pro X and will soon find out how that will fit into my workflow.
It's important for editors to be fluent in all of the major editing systems. Being fully versed only in an Avid system does you no good if the facility looking for freelance help is a Final Cut Pro facility. You may not have to be a Jack of all Trades, but it is necessary to know all of the editing systems out there.
So the next time you read a poll declaring that one single NLE system is the best, ask yourself, is that system the best for how I like to work?