A little reading goes a long way. The "limited" presets are a function of video standards - the 720x576 et al are a part of the Standard Definition (SD) format that's used in your MiniDV camcorder.I also don't like the limitations on output formats. I'd kind of like to give it the format I want, rather than choose from the presets. (I'd like to be able to decide to use 1024x768 if I want to, etc)
I wouldn't say any Non-Linear Editing software has a steep learning curve (certainly not for the basics) as there's not really anything technically complex to grasp. What takes time to learn is the art of editing rather than the mechanics. Indeed, the more simple the software, the more the art of editing is removed.
Adobe Premiere combined with the help files and a limit less imagination is a good start!