Just returned from the Sony flag store here and Shanghai, shot video with both HX9 and CX700 (yes, the best of the best of Sony's consumer camcorders). Simply kept them together and walked around the store, had also a look at the street, it was getting dark.
Both were at 50p mode, auto.
Then watched both videos on two identical TV sets, placed next to each other.
Also did some frame to frame comparison.
The IQ of 9 was slightly better - sharper - then 700. It had less noise, probably because of stronger noise reduction. On the other hand 700 had quite a lot of noise, but still did not resolve more detail then 9. Stabilization of 700 was clearly superior.
Focus seemed identical - not much hunting on any of them.
Verdict - no doubt 9 presents real value for money and if one is into shooting in full auto, then I'd go for it without a thought. I guess 700 shines when turned to manual, but am not sure by how much it would outperform 9.