Not sure about the Handycam release schedule you mention. Sorry. You get an approximation by visiting the CNET reviews and see when they reviewed it.

About miniDV:

You transfer it to the PC via Firewire or USB. However, most complaints on this forum show that they try USB and it doesn't work. Then they go to the more sure connection (Firewire) and it works. Also, quality is sometimes degraded when using USB. Preferred method: Firewire.

When you transfer the video, it's just like the computer recording the incoming video from the camcorder. Unlike HDD where the videos are already files just waiting to be copied to the computer's hard drive.

MiniDV works pretty good when you're doing a lot of editing/converting/rendering, etc.

If the HC62 does what you want it to do, then it's a go. Also, if you want, take a look at Panasonic's offering (GS320).