I did a clean re-install of OS 10.6.3 and the Production Premium CS5 which cleared up the preservation and conversion of blend mode issues on QT movies but the problem now persists with still images. I have also tried copying and pasting my sequence between PPro and AE. I will send screen shots of what is going on, this is confusing.
I would try the particle generators inside of AE first and see if they give you what you want. Trapcode Particular from Red Giant is a great partical generator but it does have a learning curve I am still learning it.
I also appreciate and admire what Adobe is doing here. I am considering upgrading from CS5 to CS5.5 here shortly. I would like to see Adobe create their own hardware, OS and computer platform one day, and I know they would make a great system. Thank you Adobe for treating the professional editing community with respect, I wish other companies would follow in your footsteps. Also, thank you to the Creative Cow for this forum and for all the hard work you put into it.
I certainly will go either Avid or Premiere. I have used Avid before and just bought it but Premiere is a nice alternative. I will, however, continue using FCP 7 while getting used to Avid once again. Like others, too many questions and too few answers.