Agent8, like they've said, 60p will be better than 60i. 60i is sort of half the resolution of 60p, as you can see in this thread. Of course, 60p files will be bigger than 60i, if all else is equal... but I'd take it. In fact, I'd rather just have 60p than have to choose between 30p and 60i (which is the subject of this thread).
But I don't have that option, with my R300.
The R400 at $219 sounds like a great deal to me... I got my R300 for $170 refurbished on eBay (Adorama Camera) a couple of months ago. That's a LOT of camera for the money, especially compared to nothing, but I gambled on refurbished, and it's about 2-year old technology. In contrast, I see that your manual
was updated this month! I might mention a few things: The camera doesn't really have 53x zoom, just 32x (but that's still tons); my camera is not the best in low light conditions, which reviews also mentioned, and it looks like yours uses the same CMOS; and finally, the supplied BP709 battery only lasts a half hour so expect to shell out up to $110 just for each BP727 (three times as long)... the recording times relative to batteries quoted in the manual are for real. In theory there are much cheaper knock-off batteries out there, but I have been having serious trouble getting ones that meet claimed specs so far (while being real cheap). We can start another thread on their batteries if you want, if you get the camera.
Back to this thread, though (60i versus 30p)...
In theory, I would probably choose 30p instead of 60i. Most of my stuff is "family movies", which doesn't involve much action per se. Plus ultimately it's all intended to be played on the PC. (Just as PC movies, not as YouTube.)
But isn't there a stealth component to interlaced - namely, isn't it better than progressive if the camera is moving? (By moving, I mean rotating, which causes everything being photographed to move at high speed, essentially.)