When I first got into editing for real dollars (instead of those dang "exposure" dollars) I started out working in a small business with Sony Vegas Pro, and that's what I worked on for my first year there. By the end of that year I had switched to the newly released Adobe CS5.5 and absolutely fell in love with Premiere. Here's why I switched:
First off, an NLE is just a tool, the editor is the craftsman. A good editor will produce wonderful pictures in Windows Movie Maker, and a newbie will still produce poor quality content in a million-dollar edit bay.
I found that Vegas did do a lot of things that I liked, and it did them very quickly and painlessly. There were a lot of template settings and effects that saved me time, and thus saved the company money. Where I ran into trouble is when I wanted to make something that was close to their template, but not quite. I would use Vegas, and get very close to what I wanted, but never could quite get things perfect without having to turn around and do the effect with plugins or from scratch.
Meanwhile, I pulled down the Adobe trial and ran it through its paces. I found that I had to learn how to build the same effects and settings that Vegas had out of the box, but I could get it exactly how I wanted it. Yes, it was a lot more work, but I had the control I needed to get the job done. When I discovered DynamicLink, I was sold and so convinced my boss at the time to buy me a key for work. For my workflow, directly mixing Premiere and After Effects with PSDs and AI files from our graphic designer became so much easier. As soon as Adobe Creative Cloud was open, I signed up and have been gladly paying out of my own pocket ever since.
That said, Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere Pro are both great tools. I prefer Premiere and that's okay. If somebody wants me to sit down and cut their footage on their Vegas, Avid, or Final Cut system, I'm still going to just sit down and get to cutting. Heck, if I have to learn to splice film by hand or dub with a pair of VTRs for somebody, I'll do it.
When comes down to it: I'm not an Adobe editor, or a Vegas editor. I'm an editor, I just string frames together in a really cool way.
I use a 27" PC monitor at work for two reasons:
The 7" monitor I have is SD resolution only.
Pulling focus is so much easier.
In my case, I always used to suffer from soft focus when I'd pull off the camera display or the 7" monitor. Since then, I don't have that problem nearly as much. Granted, a proper production monitor with features like peaking or zebras would be far more useful, but a large PC monitor can still come in quite handy.
From my understanding, you can have a full 10-bit workflow without being able to see it. That's including a 10-bit file in, working in 10-bit (or better) in the NLE/post workflow and 10-bit master. You'll be able to work with all of the additional color information, even though you can't see it. Given that you're a big fan of scopes, that's not likely to be an issue for you.
As far as actually seeing the difference on screen, you'll need a 10-bit display, a GPU that handles 10-bit, and a compatible cable type. That I won't comment on too much as I don't have that class of rig set up and I don't want to lead you astray.
Congrats on getting your short film "in the can". So many projects don't ever make it that far.
When it comes to editing, I'm a big fan of editing in iterations. You can always improve an edit, select a better performance, or cut a shot out entirely, but all of those require that you have something to work from. How quickly that comes to be depends purely on your media management skills (notes from the set, clip organization, etc).
I usually start by throwing all of my footage into Adobe Prelude and make subclips out of all my valid takes and organize them by Scene/Shot/Take. Then I can bring them into Premiere and begin dropping the best takes in a row based on the script. If I have multiple really good options for a shot, I'll bring those in too. The key is to make this a purely mechanical process at first. Don't judge final quality, don't judge performances, just put clips on a timeline. Just pretend you're an assistant editor who's responsible for gathering these scenes together.
Second pass: Now I start looking carefully at the different takes for each scene and judging "is this the best performance of this part". I'm still not worrying too much about the "big picture" yet, I just want to get the best of each take together. By the end of this pass, I'll have a series of rough takes together on a timeline with exactly zero flow. We start working on the flow in the next pass.
Third pass: Now I start really editing. I go in and cut heads and tails down and bring the different shots together. This is where the first signs of polish and shine start to show up. It's a little premature to dig into your overall flow, for that you ideally want a second set of trusted, fresh eyes to help. But, for this pass, I only care about the flow within the scene itself.
Fourth pass: Now I take my rough scenes and start playing them together, looking for pacing and feel. As I go through, I should be able to depart from the script, and focus on the story that's actually been told.
If you want, you can check out a livestream I did where I worked on redoing one of my older short films. https://youtu.be/TlMTbkAsv_M
Hope that helps!
If I had to set that up, I'd probably try laying the actors on the floor of a white cyc. I'd probably light it with two fairly hard lights focused on the floor, not the actors. If you get the bounce angle and your exposure just right, you should get that high-contrast "glow".
I agree with Cary, especially about the RAM. 32gb sounds huge... but I still manage to tap my rig out from time to time.
I don't know which software you've chosen to edit in, but if you're using Adobe it will gladly make use of your second GPU when exporting, but during editing Premiere Pro can only use the first GPU. I admittedly am a little short on Avid experience (which I'll fix as soon as I find a gig that needs those skills) so I don't know how it handles multiple GPU acceleration.
As far as your monitor, you really might want to step up and go 4k. You'd be surprised how much the extra pixel density helps, even at 1080p footage. Either way, I'd strongly recommend some sort of color calibrator, something like this at the very least:http://www.amazon.com/Datacolor-S5P100-Spyder5PRO/dp/B00UBSL31Q/ref=sr_1...
My Lenovo Laptop has one built in, and boy did some of my older color grades suddenly need a revisit... ;)