So, after thrashing about on the forum for a week, I think I've finally figured out a plan for my own situation. I'm going to take the longer view with Hitfilm.
I'm just not ready to do real work in Hitfilm yet, so I'm going to stop trying to pound the square peg in to the round hole. Instead, for current projects I've downloaded Adobe Premiere Elements, which seems to be aimed at users who are about where I currently am.
Hopefully, using Elements for current projects will liberate me to take the long view with Hitfilm, and I can use it to gradually advance my education towards becoming a more experienced editor. If I'm not trying to use Hitfilm for current projects, I won't get all frustrated trying to turn Hitfilm Express in to something that it is not and never will be.
Hitfilm does seem to be an excellent bargain for experienced video editors, which I hope to be some day. And there is a wealth of educational material available, such as Hitfilm University, which is where I'm going to start. So, it's all good, very good, so long as I don't try to rush it. I know, I know, this is all obvious, but hey, I'm a nube, so it took me a week to figure it out. :-)
Ideally, a year from now when I'm ready to do real work with Hitfilm the .mov file situation will be sorted out. If not, learning Hitfilm will still be a good education for me.