Also, have you looked here? http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php
My word of caution (not even getting into the quality and compression issues): Be careful of non-minDV tape based high definition cameras (from Sony) as they use a compression method known as "AVCHD" - and there are no editors capable of using AVCHD-based video. Sony's own Vegas video editing software is expected to be AVCHD compliant (for editing video from the cameras available today) in Spring, 2007 - according to Sony's web site. The miniDV based high def cameras do not use AVCHD, so no worries (only the hard drive and DVD based camcorders). If you are not looking at high def cameras, this paragraph does not matter.
I prefer using a tape, locking it and archiving what I shot - which has a few extra steps in the hard drive based camcorder process flow. But if keeping the original footage is not important and you have never had a laptop (or desktop) computer hard drive crash, then maybe you are a good candidate for a hard drive based camcorder.
And yes, Sony and JVC are it at the moment relative to hard drive camcorder manufacturing... though you can get an external hard drive (like an FS-4) for many camcorders - there are some compatability requirements and these external drives are pricey.