To sum it up for people who don't want to wade through the jargon, the extras in Pro are NOT worth paying for unless you are working in a fairly well-networked environment, like a business in which you have an administrator who deals with all the technical aspects of maintenance.
I recently took an engineering-level class from a well-respected Windows internals development group (http://www.sysinternals.com), at which we learned that the kernel of WinXP Home and Pro are exactly the same, so if you are using your workstation either on a small home network or by itself, you gain nothing from the extra $100 for the "Pro" designation. (Unless you have ego problems!) :-)
While I agree that Pro is a waste for MOST of what folks do at home ... I believe that there are three features that MAY be of intrest to some people here ...
1 Simple TCP/IP services
2 Multi-processor support - Windows XP Pro supports up to two microprocessors, while Home Edition supports only one
3 Internet Information Services/Personal Web Server - Home Edition does not include the IIS Web server 5.1 software found in Pro (and we all have a website and a connection to a cable modem ... right ... GRIN)
In particular, if you want to connect to a corporate networking using domains, you'll want XP Pro. I have the Home Edition and VPN into such a network, and I'm constantly having to log into individual servers because Home Edition doesn't do domains. If I had Pro, I could log in once and have access to every server in the domain. But, Home Edition came on my new PC, and I'm not going to pay that much money to save a little typing <g>.
Otherwise, as was pointed out, they are the same kernal and for most users, save your money and get Home Edition.
Also, the Pro version comes with the backup program that used to be on everything all the way back to Win 95. I don't know why they left it off of the Home version, but it doesn't seem to be there.
There are better backup programs that cost less than $99 I looked at a lot of them and settled on Backup Now from NTI. I paid $49 for it and the thing I like the most is that it backs up to multiple CD-Rs or CD-RWs and spans disks when a backup job gets longer than one disc (which is often the case).
Automated System Recovery (ASR) - In a somewhat controversial move, Microsoft has removed the Backup utility from the default Windows XP Home Edition, though it is available as an optional installation if you can find it on the CD-ROM (hint: it's in the /valueadd folder).
Dual CPUs might come in handy. There are a few other filesystem features that might be good like the ability to mount a local volume as a directory. I haven't seen it but it sounded like a linux-like feature.
I understand that backup comes on the home edition CD but isn't installed. you have to do it manually. A better backup tool, specificaly one that would look at your vegas project and back it up along with the media, would be very cool. Mezzo had one for the media 100 but it is currently between working versions.
Rob ... Take a look at the Retrospect Backup program from Dantz software ... it is a VERY good backup utility and can be given "Sets" of backup instructions, so you could make a set for your project and media … it would not drive the media from the project but it could be set up to do what you need …