if you look up ethoslab on youtube he has a video on how he uses his free software to piece his clips together and compress it and still have a nice quality, although that program doesnt have any features like adding slides and text and such. as mentioned above sony vegas is awseome, and imo very easy to use to make nice video, but the pro version is 599.00, or something like that >.> i wish i still had the version i downloaded from a torrent...
I'm going to have to agree with Sony Vegas, tis what I use too. But also theres Adobe Premier/After Effects, CyblerLink Powerdirector (as listed above, I believe), and Corel VideoStudio Pro. I've tried all of these and there all great (though Vegas is my current and I like it more than the others) Also there's Video Edit Magic, its what I started with but considering your annoyed with WMM this ones just as noobish and featureless, lol.
Also on searching Google a few more good ones might be Magix Movie Edit Pro, VideoPad, Pinnaccle Studio HD, and Roxio Video Lab. Haven't tried any of those but they seem to be popular.
Ooh if you have a Mac lying around Final Cut Pro is the best. It's what the pros use, lol.