My consumer miniDV camera finally died, and I needed to buy a new personal camera. The trouble is I wanted to future-proof my purchase, as the 2009 analog transition is looming large. Unfortunately the cheapest consumer HD cameras are still around $600. Way too much for something I will likely drop in the water or leave on a train on vacation.
Aiptek (who?) has a couple of "hybrid" still/SD/HD flash card palmcorders out for very cheap. They have the GO-HD which does 720p and has a 3x optical zoom lens for ~$200. I almost got one. The problem is that it is autofocus and has a tendency to search for focus. NG. The other model is the A-HD. This is a fixed focus non-zoom camera, and it sells for ~$120. I picked one up. For $120 it's pretty darned cool. It records to .h264 mov files which is awkward for editing, but great for storage. I can record an hour of 720p onto a 2gig SD card ($20), and the quality is not too bad either.
At any rate, I decided to do a comparison between the AHD and the HVX200. The results can be seen here: