At the office we had plenty of video recording things with so-so audio. Rather than get another camcorder, mics and all that we opted for an audo recorder. The one that gets the most use is a Sanyo ICR-XPS01M. We have a Tascam DR-07 MKII as backup.
Then in post production we clip and align the great audio along with the other usual work.
I've been searching the web for a sub 500$ device that could record video and shoot photos (like a Nikon P510 for example) but that would also come with an audio input to plug in an external microphone (mainly for interviews).
The cheapest product I've found is the Panasonic FZ200 but it's still a tad too expansive for the budget I have.
Maybe I missed one product that you'd be aware of?
I'm able to do compromises: I could also deal with an internal microphone if it's outstandingly good...