the Canons with "Mic Attenuation" or Sonys with "MicRefLevel" are about as good as it can get if you rely on the camcorder to record the audio.
Loud audio can be distorted when the camcorder's auto mic gain cannot keep up because the audio is so loud. The menu-selectable toggle of Off/On (Attenuation) or "Normal"/"High" (RefLevel)should be able to accommodate loud audio environments.
Due to the vibration associated with loud audio, stay away from hard disc drive camcorders... Flash memory or miniDV tape will be your best bets.
The camcorder manuals will provide instructions for using the Mic Attenuation or MicRefLevel menu selection. If there are no instructions in the manual, then the camcorder does not have the feature.
Another option is to pick whichever camcorder you want and if it does not have any audio control, use an audio "field recorder". When the video is imported to the computer for editing, import the audio from the field recorder, sync and mute the audio captured by the camcorder.
To the best of my knowledge, the Canon HV40 is the least expensive camcorder with a mic jack and manual audio control (it is a more granular 12-14 step mic gain control).
i want to get a camcorder for recording my band and my friends bands... ive heard alot of camcorders just do horrible with the loudness of a band (distorted usually)... and some do excellent with the loudness. of course i want the video to be good too(sometimes low light will be the case) but that's almost secondary to how it sounds. for me at least. but yeah my budget is probably like up $800