I have a JVC MiniDV. I looked at the Sony and the Hitachi, but the JVC had a lot of the same features for a better price which was $990CDN. Here is a link of the model that I have
My only complaint is the battery that comes with the camera does not last very long and I ended up having to buy another battery.
I use the ADS Pyro Digital Video Firewire card to capture the video into the PC.
I am pleased with both products and would recommend them for people who are looking to do basic, amateur video.