It's hard to imagine why anyone would suggest spending a ton of money on a camcorder for no specific reason. It's great that you "won't touch" anything less, I'm happy for you. But basically, your advice is unrealistic.
Tapes can be digital, most of them are. Why do you think tape is still a popular option for data backup? Let's get real about the downsides of tape, and at least try to leave the hype at home. Tape is less desirable because you can only access the information on the strip of tape in front of the reading heads. Remember VHS, fast forward, rewind, etc.
New tape technology is digital, so the image quality is as good as anything else.
When using a hard-drive based camcorder you gain quick access to any portion of your video, you also gain faster transfer rates to your computer. Hard-drives are also very rewritable, whereas tapes should be used once, no more than twice.
Your life using digital tapes should look like this:
A) Take sequential video (we all do this by default, press the record button, then press the record button).
B) Connect your camcorder to a computer (typically via firewire).
C) Upload the tape's entire video into your hard drive. (this takes hours)
D) Edit using your computer, preferably a newer Mac.
If you're interested in image quality, HD (as in hi-def not harddrive) is the feature to look for. I honestly can't see why you wouldn't want a tape, they are inexpensive enough that recording only once is not a big deal for most of us, and the time it takes to load a video into your computer for editing is as simple as: go to sleep, when you wake up, your video is ready for professional grade video editing. You can keep those tapes as a backup plan for your videos in the event that your harddrive fails or something like that.
My advice is this: DVD camcorders are for people that don't "do" computers. If you have a computer that can handle video editing, I would stear clear of DVD camcorders. They do give a quick and ready to duplicate product, but if you're going to edit (and who wouldn't want to) you loose everything you gain. DVD writing also uses up more battery than writing to tape. Hard drive based camcorders are nice, but if you have to choose between going Hi-def or harddrive I would suggest going Hi-Def, I think Hi-Def is the single most important feature to spring for these days. Hi-Def will give you something really nice to work with and will be worth all of the trouble, whether it's your family videos, your professional work, 2, 3, 10 years down the road you'll be happy you went Hi-Def. 10 years (or even one week)down the road you won't remember that you had to wait overnight to process the video into the computer. And it's not like transferring the data from a harddrive based camcorder would be instantaneous either.