Well I bought a Sony HDR-HC5E this year. Certainly a nice little HD camera using mini DV Tapes. Typical point and shoot comsumer camcorder. The footage is supberbe in good light, although I thought the autofocus had a tendancy to 'hunt' at times. As with all small point and shoot cameras, the small lens does not make for good footage in low light.
Overall though not bad at all, for around £500.
COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
Sony TRV33e : Sony TRV310e : Canon XM2
Sony Vegas Studio editions to v11
Remember, there is always more to learn than there is to teach.