I finally managed to pick one up at a reasonable price.
This camera has a great 'feel' to it and produces incredible pictures. For me there was no other choice out there. I didn't want to spend $5k for a large cumbersome HD camera since I am not using it for professional reasons. The picture is head and shoulders above even the top of the line prosumer MiniDV camcorders. The ring around the front of the lens is great for using for zoom and then it can be switch for use as a focus dial with a 4x enlargement in the viewfinder - all things considered, it makes it easy to get the shot you want without having to fiddle with too many items.
My next adventure is going to be pairing this up with either a Blu-Ray recorder or HD-DVD recorder so that I can put the tape contents onto a more permanent media. My computer isn't fast enough to warrant editing the video on it although I supposed I can probably get a faster computer for less money than either of the two HD DVD formats.
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