When I looked into this one year ago, I concluded that HD camcorders aren't worth buying, but that's no longer true. Some of the features I like:
- can output to standard def TV sets. You basically don't need to worry about getting the video out because it will convert to SD when necessary.
- 30GB hard drive lets you leave tape behind and stores up to 4hrs of video with random access in VCR mode.
What I don't like
- uses compressed AVCHD format instead of the lossless format you get on miniDV.
- requires proprietary Sony software to get the video into your computer. This is a big deal if you need to run the camera on some OS not supported by Sony (like something in the future)
I won't replace my Panasonic GS-400 yet, but it's clear that by next year at this time my tape-based SD camera will look pretty ancient.