Thanks for the advice Fred, though I am not sure I correctly understand your last line about plug-ins!
Like PS has some usefull plug-in (genuine fractals, Silver Effex etc...) that are specifically designed for a task, to help saving time, or let's say like the styles in C1 that give you a base for a certain type of look you want to acheive, in NLE you also have the same.
So you want to look over the internet to check the availables plug-ins.
Let's say you got Premiere: http://www.adobe.com/products/plugins/premiere/
That is where you have to look.
Of course, those plug-in, like in PS, are the "easy way" but at least they can save you a lot of time in the learning curve. But on the other hand, it depends on your approach. Those are not free, so my personal "path" would be not using plug-in at first and after a while you will know your needs, what to look for, and the good ones. Like in PS, most of them are not necesary while some are really good. But manual tasks are always above those "gadgets", the thing is that lot of skills are required.(logically a lot of time then)
Contradicting my post before, I would start the hard way first and get some utilities later.