I have an HF-S100. I know its out of your price range, but definitely read up on AVCHD before you commit. I absolutely love this camera and it shoots amazing footage, but you need a pretty powerful machine even for simple playback. Editing is a whole different ballgame. Just one thing to consider...
The plus side is you can actually trim and delete clips you don't want directly on the camcorder, eliminating all the 'garbage' that is transfered to the computer that you don't want/need.