I'm a big video editor, and I'm looking to expand my knowledge a lot and make a job out of it. I have done professional video editing work before, and have found some things I don't quite understand yet, and would love to learn.
I'm currently using Sony Vegas Pro 12. It works great, but I have heard that Adobe AE is better for professional, advanced use. Should I buy AE? And if so, which version?
Years ago Apples Final Cut was the best but it took a cr*p in the last 7 years while Adobe got it's act together and upgraded Premiere. After Effects has always been good and can do just about anything.
Unless you want to do some special effects I don't see a real reason to switch, though I wouldn't ever switch back.
Yes, AE is good for 3D title text intros and much, much more. Regarding your first post, AE was never intended to be used as a video editor. You can bring in clips to add special effects and manipulate the clips in other ways. It is meant to compliment Premiere or other editing programs but not replace them.
If I choose to buy AE, where is the best way to buy it? I'd want to install it on more than one computer since I may get a new one in a few years, and I would like to tap into Photoshop as well- maybe a bundle pack?
Is the Adobe website the best place to buy it, or should I look to some other place to buy?
The current version of After Effects is available only through Adobe Creative Cloud so you would have to go through Adobe to get it.
A Photoshop subscription (includes latest version of Lightroom desktop, mobile, and web) is $9.99 per month and an AE subscription is $19.99 per month. To get everything it would be $49.99 per month. See the link above for more details on each plan. If you are a student, with the proper ID, you can get a discounted rate.