A $699 camcorder may not seem like a bargain, but hear me out. The Canon HV20 captures stunning high-def video ( ) and includes high-end features like HDMI output (so you can connect it directly to your HDTV), instant auto-focus, and a "hot" accessory shoe. Normally it sells for around $799, but Dell has it on sale for $699.99 shipped.
If you're still shooting in standard-def, do yourself a favor and upgrade to an HD camcorder like this one. The difference is just jaw-dropping. The HV20 stumbles a bit in low-light environments, but that's true of most consumer camcorders. I like that it relies on standard MiniDV tapes, which I find preferable to memory cards or hard drives: They're cheap, easy to store, and compatible with most video-editing programs.
Dell customers rated the HV20 4.7 out of 5, while CNET readers gave it 8.3 out of 10--pretty admirable scores. I'm not sure how long this deal will last, so if you're looking to save big on an HD camcorder, don't wait.