But you two are in different boats.
With flash memory, there are some options - none are inexpensive. Uncompressed high definition video, suitable for editing, will take up a ton of disc space (whether hard disc or optical). Even unedited MTS files will use lots of space. You *could* use
=> Single layer DVDs. They can store up to 4.7 gig of data. This is not "play in a regular DVD player" usable. This is "I need a place to store data in computer readable format". This is not a lot of space.
=> Double layer DVDs. They can store up to 8.5 gig of data. As with the single layer DVDs, This is not "play in a regular DVD player" usable. This is "I need a place to store data in computer readable format". This is not a lot of space, but 2x more than single layer.
=> Blu Ray discs. They can store up to 25 gig of data - there are bigger storage sizes, too. This assumes your computer can deal with BluRay stuff.
=> External hard drive... This method - as an archive mechanism, assumes there is a second drive with the same information as the first. "Mirroring". There are some small business and home multi-drive Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems available. Hard disc drives are electromechanical. Plan on their failing - but two drives failing at the same time is highly unlikely, hence the mirroring, RAID1, setup. When one fails, take it out, put in a replacement, the remaining drive copies the data over and off you go. D-Link, Buffalo, Netgear, Promise and Sans Digital are a few manufacturers. There are others. SOme come with drives, some don't - you pick them and plug them in. Expect to start with a couple of 1 TB drives - as the drives get larger, plan to swap because you will be filling them.
If you are in the miniDV tape environment, you are actually in a better position. MiniDV tape is a long-term, archive, mechanism. First, don't re-use tapes. They are cheap - and this means you always have the original video in "best quality". After importing the video for editing, then editing, one of the steps in the render process flow is to export the video of the finished project back to the camcorder onto another tape. The Canon HV family records to 1080i HDV format. When you import, decompress the HDV video, edit, then export back to the camcorder, you are applying the least compression when it gets out to that tape.
For that matter, if one does a LOT of video, and are using flash memory or hard disc camcorder, there *may* be financial justification to get a HDV camcorder so you can export the finished video project from the computer to the HDV camcorder for digital tape storage and/or archive - or even use the HDV camcorder as a playback deck when connected to the HDTV with component + audio cables or HDMI. I do not believe the "print to camera" capability is possible on consumer grade flash memory or hard disc drive camcorders, whether AVCHD or not.
Just because something is "new and improved" does not necessarily mean all aspects are "new and improved". The process flow for flash memory and hard disc drive camcorders continues to be poorly defined which is why the retail folks cannot provide you with an adequate response.