Especially at the beginning of the school year, I'm often asked for a recommendation on video cameras. Students sometimes want to purchase their own for use in my class, or teachers want to buy cameras for their classes. I always begin by recommending to both that they figure out how much they want to spend and then look for the best camera in that price range. To this end, both Amazon and CamcorderReview.Com are useful resources. Amazon is a bit easier to navigate, and I find customer reviews often more insightful and practical than professional reviews. Camcorder Review.Com organizes its cameras buy price, brand, and media- a fantastic way of breaking down your various options. That being said, here are my personal choices for consumer camcorders, by price.
Low End: Sanyo's Xacti
Forget the Flip.