I went into my local hi-fi store as they are noted for good deals on electronics, but not a specialist for video cameras so I still do my own research.
I have been thinking about hard disk drive camcorders as my old mini-dv tapes (which were supposed to last forever) seem to jump an skip all over the place.
At least going straight to digital file I can possibly avoid that problem.
The camcorder that caught my eye was the Sony HDR SR11.
60GB of storage space and High Definition recording...
but... still researching