I don't know if you update your software regularly (I tend to be a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kinda guy) but for those with Macs and FCE, if you update your O.S. and FCE with the "Software Update" option in the "About This Mac" menu... Your FCE (version 4) will now edit native AVCHD without you having to convert/export it into another format.
In the "Quick Setup" option, AVCHD is now available in the drop-down menu (right at the top).
Saves a lot of time, just "Log and Transfer" and away you go!