OK, so those of you who follow me on Youtube will know that I bought myself a new Canon HV30 some months back. This camera is a great little cam, perfect for short films and such... with the High Def, external mic jack, Headphone In jack and all on DV tapes. The only real issue I have with this camera is the zoom. The built in lens is simply CRAP for wide angle capturing (You need to be a state away from your subject just to give the wide effect!), and pretty shit for close-ups too. If you're gonna buy one of these cameras, I suggest you buy the 43mm lens kits (Go for Raynox, if you can afford it... or just buy the lens' from Canon) and filters as well. That way, you get the WHOLE picture, not just a small piece. The wide angle lens really does help for those who will end up converting they're footage to 2.1 aspect ratio, as you can capture a lot more in frame, and not lose half of the picture when converting!
Anyway... Canon HV30 + Canon lens kit is upwards of $1000US ($1500AU) but totally worth it. It's also cheaper than the XHA1... but the image quality isn't as crisp. Check out YouTube for all the test footage :)