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.