Over at some review sites such as dvspot.com there are example video for you to review.
And you are right. NTSC is pretty ratty stuff.
I just started looking at some camcorders, and I was wondering if there's a large difference in video quality between a camera with a 340K CCD or a 690K CCD.
From what I gather, NTSC is 720x480, or 340K. What advantages is there to shooting at 690K if its only going to be down-converted?