I bought my new digital video camera a little more than a week ago. I got a Canon ZR 930. I've only had a little time to check it out, but I like it so far. It's tiny, but it has the features that I needed--records on mini-DV, has a jack for an external jack (I'm going to order an inexpensive shotgun mic tomorrow), and isn't too tough to use in manual focus and exposure mode. It has a 10x optical zoom, which is plenty fine for me. It's not super in very low light situations, but it's not a very expensive camera. I can supplement lights if necessary. It'll be great for playing, which is exactly what I wanted.
I bought Adobe Premiere Elements 4 for editing, mostly because it fit in my budget. I guess the pros all use Final Cut, but they also all have Macs, and I've got an older Dell laptop. To be honest, I only need the most basic editing features. I cut my teeth making films in super 8 and 16mm film, so I'm used to having to physically cut the medium I'm using. Time code and digital effects will be a real treat for me. (I haven't actually had the time to install the software yet, but I'm sure it's great.)
Noah (who is 8) and I already have plans to make our first "Super Noah" movie--this is the super hero about whom I tell a story every day on the way to school. We actually storyboarded a quick version of the film on the blackboard at the pediatrician's office the other day. I'm glad to have an enthusiastic actor and co-writer already on ready to go.
I'm working hard on freeing up more time, so I can start playing with my new toy. Soon. Soon.