In the NY Times today, David Pogue reviews Sony's new prosumer (i.e., sub-$4,000) 3-chip, high definition camera, the FX1. Net net, it gets pretty high marks. It's got a stunning, true 16:9 CCD, which can shoot HD30 or film's 24 frames per second. One feature I'm eager to see in person is the pre-programmable settings with which you can automate changes in exposure and focus to match the changes in a shot--moving from a bright exterior to a dimly lit interior, for example.
Eeven so, it's still saddled with one of Sony's persistently annoying dumb-downs--no XLR sound inputs--meant only to protect the far more expensive professional market. They did this with their first 3-chip camera, the VX1000 as well, making people use add-on XLR adaptors until the PD-150 was introduced several years later.
Anyway, if you think you're ready to shoot HD, the FX1 is for sale at Amazon. I'm probably not supposed to tell you the price, but I will say that if Amazon paid me a 10% commission--which they won't--I'd earn $334 off of each one of you budding, shopping filmmakers.