While I don't have the best hardware my machine is a Core2Duo at 2.3GHz with 2GB RAM and some 500GB SATA connected drive. The rendering step is a little over an hour and the DVD recording time varies with the speed of the media and drive I use. So your time could be just about right.

As to the camcorder buttons operation during connected to the pc issue, that sounds right as the pc software usually takes that task.
Bob