MCE is just XP with a few additional programs tossed in. It wouldn't be any better or worse for the programs you want to run than XP Home or Pro.
I will be ordering a new computer in the next month or so. It will be used for the usual mundane stuff like web/email, word processing, but also photo/video editing, and music playback. For now, the computer will not be in a place where it would be convenient to use as the hub of our TV/music center without the expensive Wireless Media Extender, which I don't know would work since the computer is at least 50 feet away and downstairs. I plan on using Photoshop Elements/Album for my photo editing and organizing. My main question is what is the benifit of MCE besides the TiVo style TV features? Are there any downsides to MCE? (I read here that, while 2005 is better than previous versions, the picture quality of recorded TV shows leaves something to be desired). Is it better than 3rd party programs like PSE or Music Match Jukebox at organizing/intigrating my photos, videos and music? I did do a search on MCE but didn't get quite the answer I was looking for.