I decided on the Athlon XP 2400+. It seemed like it would be a reasonably good upgrade...old enough to be at a tolerable price point, but new enough that it wouldn't be too difficult to find. I wanted to get it sooner rather than later, so that I could hopefully utilize it to complete the project I'm working on tonight. This meant I'd be purchasing at retail.
I compared prices at CompUSA and Best Buy on their website. It turned out that Best Buy was slightly cheaper at $109.99 as opposed to $119.99. Given all the coupons and discounts I have at Best Buy from their Reward Zone program and some other offers, I figured I could live with that.
Unfortunately, when I got to Best Buy I learned that they don't carry processors in store. However, the sales person suggested some alternatives in the area (including CompUSA, of course). I knew about all of them, but one I had forgotten about. He mentioned PC Club, which had recently opened near there. I hadn't been there yet, so I thought I'd check it out.
BTW, kudos to the guy there at Best Buy. He offered me what I consider to be the best type of customer service there is. He didn't have what I needed, but suggested some places where I might be able to get it. That shows me that he was concerned with my needs and not just making a sale. Plus, he actually had to have a little outside-of-the-store knowledge to be able to point me in useful directions. Best Buy can be notorious for having braindead people on staff--especially in computers--but this person was refreshingly competent.
Over at PC Club, they happened to have exactly what I was looking for...at $86.99! So I ended up saving some money and came home with what I had set out for. I looked online, and prices for that part aren't more than $10 less at the very cheapest sources, so I feel like I got a pretty good deal for retail.
Once at home, I was able to get the processor installed without any trouble, turned the machine on, and everything worked just fine. I was pleased that something decided to go exactly as it should. Then I got Premiere Pro reinstalled and low and behold, it worked! I am quite pleased.
I haven't played with Premiere Pro too much yet, but I don't seem to be having too much trouble adjusting to the interface. I last used Premiere at version 5--over two versions ago now. I already love Premiere Pro's real time preview feature (which is what it apparently needs the SSE feature on the processor for--the whole reason for my quickie upgrade). I can only imagine the amount of time I'll save on projects by not having to wait for things to render all the time just to see a preview of what I've done. I look forward to exploring the rest of what Premiere Pro and the rest of the Video Collection have to offer.