From what you want to do, you'll be shooting mostly in automatic mode. In that case, I'd go with the Panasonic GS300. It's a little too early for reviews of the ZR800 or the HC48 to come out but given the ratings of their predecessors (the ZR700 and the HC46), I'd definitely go with the Panasonic.
I know you've read all the reviews you can already but here's a final score for the cameras (I've only included the predecessors for the Canon and Sony):
Panasonic PV-GS300 (score=77) - http://www.productcritic.com/product/29-panasonic-pv-gs300-nv-gs300
Canon ZR700 (score=64) - http://www.productcritic.com/product/79-canon-zr700
Sony HC46 (score=64) - http://www.productcritic.com/product/15-sony-dcr-hc46
I'm getting close to buy my camcorder! Here is something about the use I'm going to give to it:
Only for Vacationing, My soon born baby!, and stuff like that! Everybody comments about quirky sounds! I being for 1 month straight reading and reading and reading comments, blogs, and reviews! and honestly I'm sooo confused! that I don't know what to do.
I will not be playing with the camcorder everyday! but I want to be able to Record something then download it in my computer (windows xp) and then burn it in a DVD to keep it and/or send it to my family!
Please help me out Professionals out there!! I don't think I would be able to check another brand or style!