If you are going to get a mini dv then you might want to have a look at this camcorder...
Canon MD205 Mini DV Camcorder - Jessops
What do you mean by "but there seems to be a severe lack of this media hardware around!" Do you mean the mini dv is disappearing? Where have you been looking?
You don't need to blow the entire 350 on just the camcorder, you want to think about getting an entire package including bag, tripod, tapes, cleaning cloth, lens tissues and a spare battery. You will need these items every time you use your camcorder. And don't forget a Firewire cable if you haven't got one already to connect the camcorder to your computer. Windows Movie Maker will get you started on the editing.