1) 1080P Capable
2) Microphone Input
3) Not crazy expensive
4) Reputable brand
5) Expandable memory
This pretty much narrowed my choice down to the Canon VIXIA HF family. Each of the other variations of this model pretty much only offered more internal, built in memory. I opted for one of the lesser internal RAM and figured I could get SD cards that would do the job just as well.
So far, I haven't had any issues at all after I ordered it on April 15, 2010. Compared to my old Canon ZR60 which used DVR tapes, this new system is absolutely awesome.
In fact, the native format of these videos are in a format that PS3s and YouTube.com read without any conversion necessary or editing. That's why you see a lot of my videos uploaded to YouTube.com without any edits since I just simply downloaded the videos straight from my camera and straight to YouTube.com
For some sample videos, check out any of my 1080P videos on http://youtube.com/jeffersonkim. I also did some room tours for my hotel which you can find at http://www.anaheimparkhotel.com. The room tours were completely unedited and are playing on a loop on a PS3 hooked up to a 46" LCD at the front desk in the full 1080P goodness.
I'm interested to see some of the other production videos I'll be able to make for the hotel.
Here are some other accessories I purchased as well:
Fits right onto the camcorder without any accessories needed! In fact, you don't want to put any extra adapters since the extra length will affect the corners when viewing out the lens with black out.
You'll need this adapter to be able to use the directional microphone since the Canon shoe is a proprietary mini-shoe.