I think my mid-spec D8 (sony trv-250) shoots better footage than my friends low-end mini-DV cam's (JVC & Sharp entry level models). I think it'll be fine for home movie stuff.
Although I'm definitely going to get a mini-dv cam soon, D8 cam's are so big, but I suppose you normally do get a bigger optical zoom (useful for shooting sports), and the buttons aren't fiddly and small, and mine took some serious battering before it finally packed in. So thats not all bad. You can probably get a pretty high spec one for that price too, with AV-in, manual focus and a memory card and stuff, so it might be the best bet.
Also bear in mind, 8mm tapes are more expensive than mini-dv I think, and they're harder to find aswell, at least in the UK.
Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i